Damaging earthquake in the Yangtze River / Three Gorges Dam area, China

Last update: December 18, 2013 at 10:33 am by By

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Update Dec. 18 07:53 UTC : New report of this earthquake - 3 million people were affected, six people were injured (Badong County 3 and Zigui 3), more than 2100 people had to be evacuated, 100 houses collapsed and 18,000 have been damaged to a different extend. This is a daily risk the Chinese have to life with. In the western hemisphere it does not get 1 line in the press (JustSaying)

Update Dec. 17 18:45 UTC : We could trace more data from this earthquake. More than 8000 houses have been damaged to different extend by this earthquake.

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 19.49.47

Update 13:26 UTC : A total of 79 homes collapsed and 1,543 others were severely damaged as a result of the quake, resulting in overall losses of approximately 16 million yuan (2.6 million U.S. dollars) reports Xinhua China.

Update 10:56 UTC : As expected by Earthquake-report.com, this earthquake did result in a lot of damage (hilly landscape and a very populated area). Until now we have noticed : 3 people injured, 21 collapsed houses and at least 1500 houses seriously damaged.

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 00.27.04

Update : Chinese Province authorities have send hundreds of police, fireman and rescue workers to the epicenter area of the earthquake. Their task : first help and assessing the situation (if needed additional assistance will be called in). The quake was felt by local residents and people in the neighboring cities of Yichang, Xiangyang and Shiyan.

Update : Experts have examined the Three Gorges MegaDam and have found no abnormalities. The dam operates normally.

Many landslides are being reported from the greater epicenter area. The quake hit the mountainous Badong County in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture at 1:04 p.m. (local time)

Image courtesy CEIC

Image courtesy CEIC

Chinese data
Badong (about 8.7 km from the epicenter)
Xingshan (the epicenter approximately 42.9 km)
Wushan (the epicenter approximately 50.2 km)
Zigui (from the epicenter approximately 62.4 km)

USGS data
7 km (4mi) ENE of Xinling, China
92 km (57mi) WNW of Yichang, China
120 km (75mi) NE of Enshi, China
134 km (83mi) NW of Zhicheng, China

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 5.1

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2013-12-16 13:04:55

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-12-16 05:04:55

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 10 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

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SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Xinling, China Dec 16 05:04 5.0 14 MAP I Felt It
GEOFON Southeastern China Dec 16 05:04 5.1 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Jingzhou - Felt like my heart was beating very hard, but it was the building.
  • EMSC Hubei, China Dec 16 05:04 5.2 10 MAP I Felt It


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    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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