Monday, May 12, 2008

China Earthquake: British Geological Survey data



12 May 2008 18:14 Africa/Lagos

China Earthquake: British Geological Survey data

London, 12 May/GNN/ --

BRITISH GEOLOGICAL SURVEY News Release issued by The Government News Network
on 12 May 2008
DATE: 12 May 2008
ORIGIN TIME : 06:28 00s UTC
LAT/LONG : 31.104 Degrees North / 103.270 Degrees East
DEPTH : 10 km
MAGNITUDE : 7.8 Mw
LOCALITY : Eastern Sichuan, China (90 km WNW of Chengdu, Sichuan; 1545 km
SW of Bejing, China)

Latest reports suggest that over 8500 people have been killed by a magnitude
7.8 earthquake in the south-western Chinese province in Sichuan. The earthquake
occurred 92 km northwest of the city of Chengdu in eastern Sichuan province
and over 1500 km from Beijing, where it was also strongly felt. Earthquakes
of this size have the potential to cause extensive damage and loss of life.

The epicentre was in the mountains of the Eastern Margin of Qing-Tibet Plateau
at the northwest margin of the Sichuan Basin. The earthquake occurred as a
result of motion on a northeast striking thrust fault that runs along the
margin of the basin.

The seismicity of central and eastern Asia is caused by the northward movement
of the India plate at a rate of 5cm/year and it's collision with Eurasia,
resulting in the uplift of the Himalaya and Tibetan plateau and associated
earthquake activity. This deformation also results in the extrusion of crustal
material from the high Tibetan Plateau in the west towards the Sichuan Basin
and southeastern China.

China frequently suffers large and deadly earthquakes. In August 1933 a
magnitude 7.5 earthquake about 90 km notheast of today's earthquake destroyed
the town of Diexi and surrounding villages, and caused many landslides,
some of which dammed the rivers. Approximately 9,000 people died, though
damage is Chengdu was slight.

For more information and images see:
British Geological Survey

* Ends*

For media enquiries contact Dr. Marie Cowan at +44 781 421 2644 or
mtc@bgs.ac.uk.



Source: British Geological Survey

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