Extremely dangerous and deadly earthquake magnitude 6.0 struck Gansu, China


Strong and shallow M 6.0 earthquake occurred east of Chabu, Gansu, in central China on July 21, 2013 at 23:45 UTC. There are different reports about recorded magnitude – EMSC reported M 6.0, USGS M 5.9, GEOFON M 6.3 and China Earthquake Networks Center reported M 6.6. All agencies agreed on depth of the epicenter – 10 km.

The epicenter was located 13 km east of Chabu, at the junction of the Minxian County and Zhangxian County, at coordinates 34.499°N 104.243°E.

The earthquake occurred as people were working in the fields and starting their work day. A strong aftershock measuring M 5.6, at about the same depth, hit about 90 minutes later.

Update 14:41 UTC:

– The death toll has climbed to 89
– 5 people are recorded as missing
– 593 people have been treated for different earthquake related injuries
– More than 400 aftershocks were recorded
– Over 100 000 rooms have been damaged
– Over 20 000 rooms have been severly damaged

Search and rescue efforts are now managed by Central Disaster Management team. Premier Li Keqying will overview personally every effort going on for rescue and relief. Earthquakes in China are divided into different categories. Some do only need local county response, others Province and the very big ones are managed by the Central Government.

An earthquake which is managed by the central government has all possible power to engage whatever means possible. Army, police even temporarily allocation of civilian aircraft lies in their power (ER). 

Intensity shake map by USGS (Credit: USGS)

According to GDACS, about 3 300,000 people live within 100 km radius from the epicenter. USGS PAGER issued Orange alert level for economic losses.

 Featured image: Peak ground acceleration map (Credit: USGS)


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