Small M4.4 earthquake causes major damage in China

Zhaotong city - Panoramio picture by Hillo -

During a routine check for the CATDAT Damaging Earthquakes Database, the following earthquake has been traced  yesterday from our various Chinese sources .

A seemingly weak earthquake has struck Zhaotong city, Qiaojia county, in Yunnan Province in China of M4.4 but as small shallow earthquakes sometimes can do, it has caused a large amount of damage.

China is highly populated and although great efforts are made in housing construction, the masonry nature in many cases does lead to high economic and social losses.

We are happy to report there are no casualties!
Only the epicentral report has been translated into English, so are the first to present the damage statistics:

19500 people affected (4930 families)

1048 people evacuated (262 families)

4 houses collapsed (10 rooms)

1030 houses severely damaged (1967 rooms)

3893 houses with slight damage (9063 rooms).

In addition there was damage to local hospitals (1790 square meters+), damage to 16 schools, 266 water tanks damaged, damage to 3.75km of pipes, ditches, damaged 11 reservoirs, it also affected the supply to 1402 methane containers, and much other highway damage.

The economic estimate stood at CNY52.605 million (USD8 million) direct economic loss and is set to rise!

STOP PRESS:- Due to an extra 2.7km damage to highways, bringing the total up to 5.2km, the economic loss estimate stands at CNY56.20million (USD8.5 million).

Our readers will be happy to know that as always, the Yunnan Provincial Civil Affairs Department and also the Ministry of Affairs, have been quick to react allocating 1000 tents and 5000 blankets to help disaster victims as well as food (bread, instant noodles, mineral water and other food).

In addition, 500 quilts, 500 coats and 200 colored cloth items have been supplied, as well as the local emergency relief and rescue team to assess damage and to help the victims.

Once again, great work by the Chinese disaster relief crew!

This report has been compiled from many different Chinese sources.
Please link and refer to if reproducing this story!

This earthquake struck in the same county very close to the 29 August 2010 earthquake in Qiaojia which caused around USD12.68 million damage and injured 14 people.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : M 4.4
UTC Time : Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 05:44:13 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 13:44:13 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 13 km (27.145N, 103.008E).
Satellite view of Zhaotong City

QuakeSOS+ is an iPhone application developed by Armand Vervaeck, the creator and main contributor to Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is constantly feeding the users with œEarthquake Report news. Together with your own family and friends, QuakeSOS+ will be your closest earthquake friend. Buying QuakeSOS+ will support the activities of SOS Earthquakes.

a was also created by SOS Earthquakes. makes it easy to let the world know which shaking people have experienced during the earthquake. gives also the opportunity to write some additional text. Filling up the form takes only 1 minute. gives an overview of all the resent earthquakes and let you even go back in time and retrieve earthquakes of a certain date in the past. headlines on twitter
@OnlyQuakeNews : Get all the headlines of our articles + regular updates on ongoing events
@QuakeSOS : news + automatic earthquake notifications of USGS earthquakes of M 4.0 or higher with emphasis to earthquakes in the America's and the Pacific Ocean sphere (4 and up) and a lot of the rest of the world (5 and up). This account was created for our QuakeSOS and QuakeSOS+ iPhone applications
@ShakingEarth : news + automatic earthquake notifications of EMSC earthquakes of M 4.0 or higher with emphasis to earthquakes in European and Asian / Middle East sphere (4 and up) and a lot of the rest of the world (5 and up). This account was originally created to stimulate our Facebook account