Sichuan Earthquake – China May 12 th 2008 By Dean Walmsley
The Basic Information <ul><li>The main earthquake in - Sichuan province 50 miles from Chengdu - measured 7.7 on the Richter scale it was the 19 th most deadly earthquake ever killing 68,712 people, leaving 17,921 and injuring 374,363. </li></ul><ul><li>However there were aftershocks after the major earthquake of up to a magnitude of 6 on the Richter scale. </li></ul><ul><li>Although the Earthquakes epicentre was in Sichuan province tremors were felt in: </li></ul><ul><li>All over China - except for Xinjiang, Jilin or Heilongjiang </li></ul><ul><li>Tuva, Russia </li></ul><ul><li>Hong Kong (3 minutes after the main earthquake) </li></ul><ul><li>Macau (3 minutes after the earthquake) </li></ul><ul><li>North Vietnam (5 minutes after the earthquake) </li></ul><ul><li>Thailand (6 minutes after the earthquake) </li></ul><ul><li>Taiwan (8 minutes after the earthquake) </li></ul><ul><li>Mongolia (8 minutes after the earthquake) </li></ul><ul><li>Bangladesh (8 minutes after the earthquake) </li></ul><ul><li>Nepal (8 minutes after the earthquake) </li></ul><ul><li>India (9 minutes after the earthquake) </li></ul><ul><li>Pakistan (10 minutes after the earthquake) </li></ul><ul><li>As you can tell from this lengthy list the earthquake must’ve been incredibly powerful to be felt 100s of miles away from the epicentre. </li></ul>
The Effect The Earthquake Had On People <ul><li>As mention a total of 68,712 people were killed and 17,921 people were missing. However this meant a large proportion of the city was left, but the state it was in was disastrous. A total of 1/3 of all buildings in Wenchuan county collapsed. </li></ul><ul><li>Schools (8 in Dujiangyan), 2 hospitals were heavily damaged and many more public service buildings were flattened by the earthquake. This meant people could not simply go to the hospitals to get medical help for their wounds etc. Instead they relied on relief efforts such as the presence of aid workers and military officers who were drafted in by the Chinese President (Hu Jintao). Also the airport in Chengdu was closed and completely evacuated. This meant no aid could easily arrive in to the county of Wenchuan (Wenchuan is a smaller county situated in Sichuan province). </li></ul>This image is one of a collapsed school in Chengdu.
The Effect The Earthquake Had On People and Their Property <ul><li>Peoples homes (especially older ones which were not built to cope with earthquakes pre 1976) were completely levelled near the epicentre. This meant people were left outside with no shelter in the cold May nights. However even those lucky enough to have their house still standing did not use their home at night and dared to go in for fear of collapse. </li></ul>This image shows us how people slept outside at night because they feared their house collapsing so much. However moving away from Chengdu is not easy because their property is now worthless because people do not want to live in an area that has problems with earthquakes and other natural disasters.
The Effect The Earthquake Had On People and Their Property <ul><li>1000’s of people’s work offices were also destroyed. Due to technological advancements many modern buildings can cope with earthquakes, however in Chengdu there was still a large amount of older high rise buildings and office blocks. The image below shows us a part of Sichuan’s business areas as you can see the tall high rise buildings (if not levelled) are far to unsafe to enter. This meant people lost their businesses and many others lost work as there was nowhere to work. </li></ul>
The Effect The Earthquake Had On People and Their Property <ul><li>However it wasn’t just towns and cities that were effected. In rural areas of Sichuan farmers reported grain yield losses of 0.4% and pork production fell by 5%. The Eastern Plain’s disaster rate was 30 – 49%. The first numbers may not seem all that much, but even the slightest dip can cause huge problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Food prices began to soar in Sichuan province because it was becoming more and more scarce. </li></ul>This is an image of farmland after the earthquake. Many of Sichuan’s paddy fields were flooded or destroyed by landslides which were a direct result of the earthquake. 100’s of people lost their livelihoods through the destruction of their farmland and property.
The Effect The Earthquake had on the Infrastructure <ul><li>A huge problem concerning the earthquake was the transportation links. All links were destroyed in Wenchuan county, and the nearby Chengdu airport was closed and a Silkair flight was sent to land in nearby Kunming instead. </li></ul><ul><li>These transportation links being cut meant that vital aid could not be sent to the most desperately needy areas. Many roads were shut due to the presence of landslides. </li></ul>This image shows us the extent of the problem, no cars or vehicles could obviously pass over. This meant people had to walk for miles to reach safety. Aid trucks found it desperately difficult to pass over and so expedition teams had to carry up to 40kg of aid and walk up treacherous mountain passes. The small village of Sier was only reachable by a 5 day walk. The village is 4000m above sea level and the mountainous areas meant helicopters could not fly to drop the aid off. Instead an 80 man expedition unit had to walk to the isolated village each carrying 40kg of aid. 300 Tibetans were stranded in the village.
The Effect The Earthquake had on the Infrastructure <ul><li>The 511 ft Zipingpu dam finished in 2006 on the Min river was damaged. This posed a serious threat of flooding and a further threat of landslides. The dam held back a huge reservoir capable of holding up to 1.1 billion m3 of water. At the point of the earthquake it was holding much less than this so the cracks in the dam were easier to detect. The dam is part of a htdro – electric scheme and also irrigates nearby land. </li></ul><ul><li>The damage caused also meant that repairs were necessary coming in at a huge cost to the Chinese government. 2000 military personal were sent to the dam to complete the essential repairs. </li></ul><ul><li>If the dam had collapsed completely the whole of Duijiangyan City’s 630,000 population would’ve been flooded </li></ul><ul><li>The dam, however was constructed with a waterproof concrete membrane which meant that if an earthquake struck the damage would be minimal. </li></ul><ul><li>There are reports estimating that a total of 400 dams were damaged by the earthquake. </li></ul>Zipingpu dam after the earthquake.
The Effect The Earthquake had on the Infrastructure <ul><li>Mass flooding was a large problem after the earthquake. The water however made it’s own problems, but it also created landslides disrupting roads and destroying communication links. The landslides turned in to land dams completely blocking roads off. This not only meant that aid could not reach vital areas, but also people could not be safely evacuated to safe areas of the county. </li></ul>A landslide in Sichuan province after the earthquake.
Response <ul><li>Office buildings in Shanghai were immediately evacuated for fear of collapse. Workers in a Ford plant in Chengdu were evacuated and as mentioned the Chengdu airport was closed. </li></ul><ul><li>The immediate response of the Chinese government was swift. President Hu Jintao flew out to the worst hit areas to plan the rescue. The Chinese Health Ministry sent out 10 emergency health teams to aid the medical effort. The government also sent 50,000 military troops and a team of 184 rescue workers set out from Beijing. The rescue team consisted of 12 people from the State Seismological Bureau, 150 from the Beijing Military Area Command and 22 people from the Armed Police General Hospital. In rural areas the mountains made it difficult for troops to access. In total 150 aircraft were used to rescue people making it the largest non-military airlift in Chinese history. One problem however was the lack of transportation links and the fact that many of the roads were blocked due to landslides. This meant in certain more isolated areas troops and aid had to be parachuted in. </li></ul>This is an image of an elderly woman being rescued after being trapped for 50 hours.
Response <ul><li>China issued a statement stating that they would gratefully accept international aid. The Tzu Chi foundation donated 100’s of tons of aid within the first 24 hours. </li></ul><ul><li>On May 16, rescue groups from South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Russia and Taiwan arrived to join the rescue effort. The United States shared some of its satellite images of the earthquake-stricken areas with the Chinese government. The US sent two U.S. Air Force C-17 transport planes carrying supplies, which included tents and generators. </li></ul><ul><li>Both Red Cross and Red Crescent have donated funds and aid to the seriously effected areas of China these societies together are aiming to re-build 66,000 households in Sichuan province. </li></ul><ul><li>There is however on-going work to re-build homes, schools and hospitals costing the Chinese Government an estimated US$20 billion. </li></ul>Chinese military officers aiding relief work in Sichuan.
Response <ul><li>A national state of mourning was set up, it lasted three days. The Chinese flag was lowered to half mast. </li></ul><ul><li>Exactly a week after the earthquake 3 minutes of silence was acknowledged after the sounding of car horns, trains and alarms. This was said to be the biggest mourning since the death of former President Mao. </li></ul>Image of Tiananmen Square in mourning. The relay of the Olympic Torch was halted for three days as a sign of respect and mourning.
This Concludes My PowerPoint presentation. Thank – you for viewing and please remember it is not too late to donate to this appeal By Dean Walmsley