Dams and Earthquakes

Fresh aftershock hits China quake region: USGS

(July 13, 2009) A fresh aftershock jolted China’s southwest Monday, three days after an earthquake in the same area killed one person, injured hundreds and directly affected two million people, state media said.

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 4.9 quake struck a minute after midnight (1601 GMT) and was centred 95 kilometres (60 miles) east northeast of the tourist city of Dali in Yao’an county, a mountainous area of remote Yunnan province.

The quake was recorded at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres, it said.

Official news agency Xinhua said there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries from the aftershock, which lasted about 10 seconds.

More than to 250,000 people in several counties in Yunnan were displaced after a 5.7-magnitude quake struck Yao’an on Thursday evening.

Authorities have recorded one fatality — a 50-year-old woman who was buried in the debris of collapsed houses and died later in hospital from serious blood loss, according to Xinhua.

The quake, which was centred on a relatively sparsely populated area 98 kilometres (61 miles) northeast of Dali, saw more than 30,000 houses collapse, Xinhua said early Monday, updating the previous figure of 18,000.

Another 625,000 were damaged, it said.

Up to 367 people were injured, including 31 critically, the report said.

Xinhua said that by Sunday rescuers had finished relocating 255,000 people considered to be in danger to tents, makeshift houses or homes of relatives.

The operation involved over 1,000 soldiers and policemen, including about 300 from neighbouring Sichuan province, who helped residents to safety, Xinhua said in a previous report.

Last year in Sichuan, nearly 87,000 people were left dead or missing when a 8.0-magnitude earthquake shook the province in China’s mountainous southwest.

The deadliest earthquake to strike China in over 30 years flattened entire cities and towns, destroying schools, hospitals, homes, buildings and factories in nearly 50,000 villages.

AFP, July 13, 2009

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