Strong and shallow M6.0 earthquake hits southern Xinjiang, China

Strong and shallow M6.0 earthquake hits southern Xinjiang, China

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.0 hit southern Xinjiang, China at 13:27 UTC (19:27 local time) on January 19, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 11 km (6.8 miles). EMSC is reporting M5.8 at 10 km (6.2 miles). China Earthquake Networks Center is reporting M6.4 at a depth of 16 km (10 miles).

The epicenter was located 102.5 km (63.6 miles) ENE of Kashgar (population 274 717), China, 155.6 km (96.5 miles) N of Shache (population 82 509), China, 186.4 km (115.6 miles) SE of At-Bashi (population 15 226), Kyrgyzstan, 202.3 km (125.4 miles) SSE of Naryn (population 52 3000), Kyrgyzstan, and 287.5 km (178.2 miles) WSW of Aykol (population 11 260), China.

There are 1 370 000 people living within 100 km (6.2 miles).

16 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 100 000 strong, 276 000 moderate and 2 947 000 light.

Image credit: Google, TW/SAM

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities. There is a low likelihood of casualties.

Orange alert was issued for economic losses. Significant damage is likely and the disaster is potentially widespread. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of China. Past events with this alert level have required a regional or national level response.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and concrete/cinder block masonry construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides and liquefaction that might have contributed to losses.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM


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