Damaging Yunnan, Shangri La area (China) earthquake (August 27/28) - Many houses collapsed and/or damaged - landslides

Update August 29, 08:02 UTC : The final numbers of damage are much higher than initially reported. Currently following numbers are reported:
113 houses collapsed
2118 houses severely damaged11115 houses with other damage
52617 people are affected, while 9220 of them had to leave their homes.
The damage to infrastructure is also severe: Many thousand people are without water supply. Many roads were damaged by landslides or ground cracks.

Update 13:56 UTC : New update from the assessment and rescue teams in the earthquake zone : 2 counties, 19 villages and 9176 people were affected, 56 houses collapsed, 45 houses severely damaged  and 266 houses slightly damaged.

Update 07:47 UTC : At least 36 houses in Yunnan and Sichuan collapsed, some hundreds were damaged. More than 10.000 people are affected. Rescue teams sent thousand of tents and food to the quake victims.

Update 06:36 UTC : Many houses in Yunnan and Sichuan close to the epicenter were damaged by the quake. Some of them severely, respectively nearly collapsed. Many landslides occurred in the steep valleys, which blocked and damaged roads and destroyed water pipes. Some 200 people were trapped on a road. Rockfalls in villages caused additional damage. So far, no reports about injuries, but approx. 4000 people are affected by the quake.
An aftershock with M 4.4, which occurred some hours later, caused additional damage.


The impressive Shangri La Buddhist monastery where the earthquake was also felt - image Armand Vervaeck

The impressive Shangri La Buddhist monastery where the earthquake was also felt - image Armand Vervaeck

Update 21:47 UTC : As usual, International seismological agency data are varying a lot compared with the Chinese data. We trust however the Chinese data based on our long experience with Chinese earthquakes.
We expect detailed assessment news during the UTC morning hours (currently still dark in the epicenter area)

Village of Garze in the epicenter area - Image courtesy and copyright Hatong

Village of Garze in the epicenter area - Image courtesy and copyright Hatong

Update 21:37 UTC : CEIC China reports a Magnitude of M5.1 at a shallow depth of 9 km. Based on our experience with Chinese earthquakes and our knowledge of the area, we think that this earthquake will be damaging.
The area is very mountainous and the earthquake has struck on the slopes of high hills who are bordering a deep river valley.
More to the south is Shangri-La a location know for his beautiful Monastery which is being visited by huge numbers of tourists every year.

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 23.41.52

3km (2mi) WNW of Benzilan, China
176km (109mi) NNW of Dayan, China
290km (180mi) W of Xichang, China
295km (183mi) NNW of Dali, China

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 4.9

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2013-08-28 04:44:56

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-08-27 20:44:56

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 10 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

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Refresh this list
SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Shengping, China Aug 27 23:53 4.5 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Sichuan-yunnan Border Reg, China Aug 27 23:53 4.6 10 MAP
GEOFON Yunnan, China Aug 27 23:53 4.6 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Benzilan, China Aug 27 20:44 5.0 43 MAP
EMSC Sichuan-yunnan Border Reg, China Aug 27 20:44 5.0 10 MAP
GEOFON Yunnan, China Aug 27 20:44 4.9 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Tacheng, North-Yunnan - ground and walls were shaking for a couple of seconds
  • Shangri La - The door and wardrobe doors rattled and the movement woke my husband and I out of our sound sleep.


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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.
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