Moderate earthquake near Tangshan, China reminds the 1976 disaster (also felt in Beijing today)

Earthquake overview : At 10:22 local time, millions of people in the Tianjin, Tangshan, Beijing area were surprised by shaking surroundings. Weak to very weak in Beijing, light to moderate in Tangshan. The many I Have Felt it reports from our readers are giving a good overview how the earthquake was experienced in these cities.
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The most recent updates are on top, the start of the article on the lower part of this page

Earthquakes in today's greater epicenter area - image courtesy and copyright CENC, China

Update 15:35 UTC : The image to the right shows the earthquakes which have been felt by people in the greater earthquake area during the last year. The strongest being a M4.3 earthquake with epicenter near Yingkou, on February 2, 2012. 7 other earthquakes in between M3 and M4 were also recorded.

Update 15:10 UTC : A journalist being in the earthquake area today has timed that the shaking lasted approx. 12 seconds.

Update 14:50 UTC : After inspecting the epicenter and surrounding areas (Chinese seismological services are very specialized in earthquake response) no injured have been reported and 2 houses have been found with cracks in the walls. Chinese seismological services have told the local press that today's earthquake is an aftershock of the M7.8 1975 Tangshan earthquake.

The cruel 1976 Tangshan earthquake
This earthquake was believed to be the the largest earthquake of the 20th century by death toll. 240,000 to 255,000 people have lost their life during this earthquake!
The earthquake hit in the early morning, at 03:42:53.8 local time (1976 July 27 19:42:53.8 UTC), and lasted 23 seconds. Chinese government official sources state a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter magnitude scale, though some sources listed it as high as 8.2. It was followed by a major 7.1 magnitude aftershock some 16 hours later, increasing the death toll to over 255,000. The cause was when the 25-mile long Tangshan Fault, which runs near the city, ruptured due to tectonic forces caused from the Okhotsk Plate sliding past the Eurasian Plate. (source Wikipedia)

The cruel 1976 Tangshan earthquake - image courtesy and copyright

Update 05:56 UTC : According to the first reports from the Hebei Seismological Bureau, who went to the epicenter area asap, there are no reports of damage or injuries  so far.

Earthquakes with a magnitude of M7 or more since 1900 in today's epicenter area - image courtesy USGS

Update 05:43 UTC : epicenter of the earthquake was less than 10 km from Luanxian. As can be read in the Experience reports below, the earthquake was also felt in Tianjin and Beijing, 2 megacities in Chine. This is the second earthquake being felt in Beijing in only a couple of months!

USGS reports M 4.7 earthquake in the bordering area between a Tangshan City district and Luanxian County in Hebei. Based on the earthquake parameters the earthquake must have been felt as far as Beijing. See epicenter map below.
The images to the right shows that the Tangshan area can be labeled as extremely dangerous for Mega-earthquakes, having had 2 massive earthquakes in a narrow area.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 4.8 (CENC)
UTC Time :   Monday, May 28, 2012 at 02:22:57 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Monday, May 28, 2012 at 10:22:57 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 8 km (CENC)
Geo-location(s) :
10 km from Luanxian
30 km W Changli (pop 64,476)
33 km E Linxi (pop 100,316)
54 km E Tangshan (pop 1,596,949)

Links to important maps
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area (CENC epicenter)
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map

Click here for examples of our "earthquake notifications (button below)"

Refresh this list
SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
EMSC Hebei, China May 28 02:22 4.7 30 MAP
  • Beijing - 10:25 am, slight shaking, lamps swinging slowly. i'm on the 18th floor; friends further down didn't feel it
  • Beijing, China - Very weak movement
  • Tianjin, China - My rolling chair started to rock, and the closet doors started to rattle
  • Beijing nr. airport - Both my son and i felt a mild, short shake at 10.22 am Beijing time.....we both ran outdoors, as we'd felt a shock in Beijing a few weeks before.
  • Beijing Lido Area - Office Building shook for about 4 seconds. Colleagues in Tianjin felt as well! Not as big as early morning one a few weeks ago, but 2nd in Beijing in about a month!
  • Dagang - Felt the building shake, thought I had a headache and my head was spinning
  • Beijing (Lido) - Here in the office in Lido area, felt a very slow, low frequency shaking in the office. Stronger at first, then slowed down. Many of my colleagues did not feel it.
  • Tianjin, China - In my room, thought I was dizzy then realized everything was shaking slightly!
  • Beijing - 29th floor of a building near SanYuanQiao. My first earthquake in a tall building.
  • Beijing - I'm on the 27th floor of an office building in Jinsong Beijing. My chair rocked lightly for a few seconds at 10:23am, then about 10 seconds later it happened again but a little milder the second time round. I could also feel the vibrations under my feet.
  • TEDA Tianjin - Strange feeling in a high rise building. My 1st experience as American in China.
  • Chaoyang, Beijing - Felt a very slight oscillation, almost imperceptible, lasting for about 5 seconds.
  • Tianjin - about 5 senconds shake 3times, right and left and right
  • Tianjin - Felt strong initial quake and moderate trembling for less than one minute. Wanted to confirm with an organization outside China. Locals will probably discredit my experience. Thank you for the updates on this site.
  • Tianjin - Less than 30 seconds, 6th floor furniture moved and strong feeling of shaking without noise.
  • Beijing Dawanglu - Very weak shaking indicated
  • Beijing N. 5th Ring Road - 33rd floor felt chair moving as if someone was shaking me. Calendar on the wall swinging.
  • Xinjeikou, Beijing - It was a very mild shake and only about 6 of them
  • Tianjin, China - Moderate shaking reported
  • Beijing, Haidian - Felt a light shaking this morning after 10:00 am. Felt dizzy,my computer monitor swayed back and forth in front of me.
  • Tian Jin - get shaking, everyone in my office go outward
  • Tianjin, xeda - We felt one single shake of our chairs when sitting on ground floor of our factory building.
  • Teda, Tianjin - Weak shaking. I noticed it while sitting at my desk.
  • Shunyi (near Airport) - Felt the floor shift under me on the 3rd floor of our school around 10:20 or so.
  • Tangshan - I was in class when i felt a shake, I thought it was me getting tired
  • Tianjin, Hexi qu - Didn't here a thing, but i heard some awkward loud noise outside.
  • Yining, China - I was asleep till my dad shouted
  • Tianjin - Felt it and relived a few seconds of panic after being in the big sichuan quake in 2008.. every time i feel a shake it brings me back to that day
  • USGS Hebei, China May 28 02:22 4.7 38 MAP
    GEOFON Northeastern China May 28 02:22 4.6 41 MAP
    CENC Tangshan, China May 28 02:22 4.8 8 MAP
  • Tangshan, China - Biggest quake I've felt out of only about 3 in my life, all since being here since August 2011. Definitely felt nervous!
  • Tangshan - i was studying in room on 6th floor ,suddely feel that my chair is shaking...i was so scarred and ran outward with trembling legs..:
  • Tangshan - (The Earthquake startled me awake with the bed shaking and the windows rattling It was the strongest Earthquake I have felt in Tangshan since I moved here in 2008. The shaking lasted between 5 and 15 secs after I awoke.
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    I felt the shaking *
    Country where you felt the earthquake *
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake *
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Shaking Strength *
    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.
    Tell us your experience and how many seconds the shaking lasted + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage). (max. 500 characters)
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