Strong earthquake hits far-western China, no casualties

KERIYA, CHINA (BNO NEWS) -- A strong earthquake struck a remote region of far-western China on Sunday evening, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, seismologists and government officials said.

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake at 6:47 p.m. local time (1047 GMT) was centered in the Kunlun mountains about 127 kilometers (79 miles) southeast of Keriya, a town east of Hotan in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It struck about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the China Earthquake Network Center (CENC).

The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which measured the strength of the earthquake at 6.3 on the moment magnitude scale (MMS), estimated that some 12,000 people in the region may have felt moderate to strong shaking. Some 1.5 million others may have felt weak to light tremors.

The China Earthquake Administration (CEA) said it had launched an emergency response team to determine the effects of Sunday's earthquake. "The Xinjiang Seismological Bureau sent out a field work team which rushed to the epicenter to investigate the disaster and to assist the local government to carry out emergency work," the agency said, adding that the Yutian County government also dispatched a team.

But while emergency teams were dispatched to the region near the epicenter, authorities indicated there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. "According to a report from the Xinjiang Seismological Bureau, there have been no casualties or property losses," the CEA said in a statement.

Buildings in many regions of China are extremely vulnerable to earthquake shaking, and even light earthquakes frequently cause serious damage and casualties. A 2.9-magnitude earthquake struck central China in November 2011, causing a rockslide at a coal mine which killed eight workers.

And in August 2011, at least 26 people were injured when a 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, destroying 80 homes. It followed a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in the Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture in China's Yunnan Province in March, killing 26 people and injuring more than 300 others.

Most notably, nearly 3,000 people were killed and more than 12,000 others were injured when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck northwest China in April 2010.

(Copyright 2012 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

What Next?

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Submit Comment