Two strong earthquakes shake central and northwest China

Landscape of Jiuzhaigou, Earthquake Region

Yesterday, a 7,0 magnitude earthquake shook the center of the country, in the Tibetan region of Jiuzhaigou. At 21:19 local time, 13:19 GMT. A very touristy area in Sichuan province. The US Geological Survey indicates that the earthquake was actually 6,5. However, in the provincial capital of Chengdu, 300km from the epicenter, its effects were felt. The government of the country fears the death of around 100 people, although for now there have been 19 deaths. Some 130.000 homes have been affected. The Jiuzhaigou region, highly touristy by nature, had hosted 38.000 tourists who are being evacuated. Among those affected, there is a French tourist and a Canadian.

Hours later, this morning a new earthquake struck the northwest region of China, in XinJiang. "Only" 2.000km from the other earthquake. This has been of magnitude 6,6 on the Richter scale. It occurred at 7:27 local time, 23:27 GMT, and has been accompanied by 121 aftershocks according to China's seismological monitoring centers. 3 months ago this same area was already affected by a 5,5 earthquake that left 8 dead. For now, this new earthquake has already left 30 injured. The Chinese body has activated emergency level 1, with 1 being the most serious.

The downtown earthquake in the Jiuzhaigou region, Sichuan

According to the latest information, some 250 injured people have been transferred to hospitals, 40 of which are in serious condition. The earthquake, which had a depth of 20 kilometers, according to the China Seismological Networks center, has revived many of the fears among the population. It was in that same province, Sichuan, that in 2008 experienced one of the worst earthquakes with one of magnitude 8,0. The balance of this was of more than 90.000 people between injured and deceased. People ran out of their homes at night, panicky.

President Xi Jinping has called for efforts to start carrying out the rescue of the wounded, and together with the prime minister, urged local bodies to act quickly to carry out all necessary relief operations. Of all the tourists, 30.000 of them have been evacuated from the area, and another 10.000 are still waiting to leave. The mountainous area is well known for its beautiful waterfalls and karst formations.

In the following video you can see the aerial filming from a helicopter of the effects of the earthquake in the mountains, such as landslides.

The Northeast XinJiang earthquake in the Jinghe region

In this region close to Central Asia, the second earthquake has caused at least 33 injuries, two of them in serious condition. More than a thousand houses have been affected, of which 142 have been destroyed. The XinJiang authorities canceled 60 rail routes. Firefighters and health teams have gone to the affected area where humanitarian aid has been sent. Tents, blankets, coats, etc.

Region of the second earthquake

Many people have wondered if there is a correlation between the two strong earthquakes that occurred in such a short time. Seismologists consulted by the South China Morning post said they did not seem to see a direct relationship between the two earthquakes a priori. There is too much distance between the two, and they recall that western China has always been the site of frequent earthquakes.

The western half of China prone to earthquakes

In the large area where all the earthquakes have occurred, it suffers frequent tremors due to the great seismic activity. It is due to the friction of the great Asian and Indian tectonic plates. They often occur in areas where there is little population, such as the Tibetan plateau or local deserts. Eventually when they occur in much more populated areas, the damage is enormous.

Make a special mention to remember that an earthquake is something that we cannot predict when it will occur. But in case of living it, staying calm is one of the key things. Above all, think coldly, and go out to open places before it intensifies, away from walls, trees, etc.

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