M6.6 EARTHQUAKE STRIKESNEAR YA’AN CITY, SICHUANPROVINCE, CHINAUPDATE 4:MONDAY, APRIL 22, 8:00 PMWalter HaysGlobal Alliance for Disaster Reduction
DAY 1THE DIMENSIONS OF A DISASTERUNFOLD IN A MATTER OF MINUTESTO HOURS, BUT THE DETAILS AREUNCERTAIN FOR DAYS TO WEEKS
8:02 AM, SATURDAY, APRIL20, 2013• The M 6.6 earthquake was generatedby rupture on the same fault zone thatgenerated the May 2008 earthquake.• The earthquake struck a remote, mostlyrural and mountainous area ofsouthwestern Chinas Sichuanprovince near Ya’an City (pop. 1.5million) on Saturday morning killing atleast 208 and injuring about 12,000.
SHALLOW DEPTH• The earthquake was generated byrupture further south than in 2008on the Longmanshan fault zone,the same fault zone that rupturedin the May 2008 earthquake.• A relatively shallow focal depth of12 km (7.5 miles) made the groundshaking more destructive.
EPICENTER CLOSE TO THE MAY 12,2008 QUAKE’S EPICENTER• The epicenter was close to theepicenter of the MUCHLARGER M8.0 earthquake thatkilled 88,000 people anddamaged millions of buildingson May 12, 2008.
Premier Li Keqiang flew toYaan to direct rescue efforts,and, seeking to avoid the hugedeath toll of 2008, he andPresident Xi Jinping orderedofficials and rescuers to makesaving people the top priority
CAUSE OF THE DISASTER::THE SAME AS IN 2008--INADEQUATE IMPLEMENTATIONOF AN INADEQUATE BUILDINGCODE
INITIAL REACTIONS• When the earthquake occurred, manypeople were at home, sleeping orhaving breakfast.• People in their underwear and wrappedin blankets ran into the streets of Yaanand even in the provincial capital ofChengdu, 115 kilometers (70 miles)east of Lushan.
BUILDINGS WERE NOTCONSTRUCTED TO WITHSTANDTHE STRONG GROUND SHAKING,WHICH REPORTEDLY LASTED AMINUTE IN LONGMAN
INITIAL IMPACTS• The earthquake toppled buildings,triggered landslides and disruptedphone and power connections andwater service in mountainous Lushancounty.• The village of Longman was hitparticularly hard, with nearly all thebuildings being destroyed.
Pandas panicked duringthe earthquake, but the well-known Bifengxia pandapreserve, which is 50 kmfrom the epicenter, was notdamaged by the quake.
FACTORS CAUSING THEFRUSTRATION• RAIN, LANDSLIDES, IMPASSABLEROADS, TRAFFIC JAMS, DEBRIS,AFTERSHOCKS, AND RESTRICTIONSSLOWED SEARCH AND RESCUE ANDEMERGENCY RESPONSE, - - -• AS TIME ON THE “48 HOUR GOLDENPERIOD FOR SEARCH AND RESCUECLOCK” TICKED AWAY.
THE CHINESE GOVERNMENTCHOOSES NOT TO ACCEPTOFFERS OF INTERNATIONALASSISTANCE AND ALLOCATED3 MILLION YUAN ($480,400) TOSEARCH AND RESCUE ANDRELIEF EFFORTS.
The government had mobilizedthousands of soldiers and others— 7,000 people by Saturdayafternoon, 18,000 by Sunday —sending excavators and otherheavy machinery as well as tents,blankets and other emergencysupplies
THE REALITY• Along the main roads, ambulances, fireengines and military trucks piled highwith supplies waited in long lines,some turning back to try other routeswhen roads were impassable.• To move, rescuers were forced todynamite boulders that had fallenacross roads, or to run past them.
FATAL ACCIDENT :TWO RESCUEWORKERS FALL OFF CLIFF
RESCUERS HAD TO RUN PAST ROCKFALLS ON WAY TO STRICKEN AREA
LUSHAN: ROCK FALL, SURVIVORS,AND RESCUERS MEET
WATER SUPPLYDANGEROUSLY LOW• Even as Chinese Red Cross’ reliefteams with supplies of food, water,medicine and rescue equipmentwere moving as quickly aspossible to the disaster areas,officials were predicting thatdrinking water in Ya’an City areawould run out in 3 days.
PART OF 48 HOUR “GOLDEN PERIOD” FORSEARCH AND RESCUE UNAVAILABLE• With roads blocked for several hoursby landslides, the military surveyed thedisaster area by air while waiting.• Aerial photos showed individualhouses in ruins in Lushan, outlyingvillages flattened into rubble, and theroofs of some taller buildings shakenoff, exposing the floors beneath them.
Day 3:MONDAY, APRIL 22DESPERATE SEARCH AND RESCUECONTINUES AS THE “GOLDEN PERIOD”ENDS, AND TIMELY EMERGENCYASSISTANCE TO MEET BASIC NEEDSINTENSIFIES
HELPING 1.72 MILLION PEOPLE• On Monday, relief and rescueefforts continued in the broad areaaround Ya’an City in SichuanProvince, where, according to theMinistry of Civil Affairs, 1.72million people were impacted.
FINALLY, rescuers on footreached Baoxing County,the area hardest hit by thequake, at 1 p.m. Monday.
In the race to find survivors in therubble before it was too late,rescue workers had to contendwith over 2,000 aftershocks thatthreatened every hour to triggernew landslides and topple alreadydamaged buildings.
LUSHAN COUNTY: RESTORINGWATER SUPPLY• Some of the water supply in LushanCounty, the district where the quakesepicenter was located, was restored,reducing the potential crisis andproviding about 100,000 residents withwater when needed most.
FIRST CALL FOR NATIONALAND INTERNATIONALDONATIONS
The high point of Chinese philanthropywas reached after the May 2008earthquake, which devastated largesections of Sichuan and nearbyprovinces, wiping out entire villages,killing 88,000, and injuring many more.