Earthquake in Kangding, Sichuan, China - at least 5 people killed and 55 injured (+ video's)

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Update November 24, 16:58 UTC :
One injured person more than the last update. The astronomical number of 26,000 houses damaged. The video below shows aerial photography used by the authorities to map the damaged houses and infrastructure.


Update 10:14 UTC : The best video we have seen so far from the shaking. Location of the CCTV camera's is unsure but some were recorded in Kangding, the county capital

Update November 23, 09:57 UTC : The Kangding earthquake has caused five deaths and 54 people were injured. As of 16:00, more than 11 medical teams did reach the quake-hit areas. 886 healthcare professionals and 104 health staff are involved in medical treatment and epidemic prevention. The most important roads leading to the epicenter area have now been cleared from landslides which will facilitate the rescue and relief operation a lot.
The seismologic agency has recorded 357 aftershocks until a couple of hours ago. Most of them were not felt by people. 79,500 people have been affected in one of more ways (damaged houses, houses unfit to live in, broken water pipes, etc etc)

Update November 23, 00:55 UTC :

Update 23:54 UTC : The earthquake toll has further increased to 2 people killed and 48 injured

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 18.01.45

Important update 15:03 UTC : The current status is 1 person killed and 22 injured. A lot of relief material has been sent to the hardest hit areas. We expect this number to increase in the following hours.

Update 12:10 UTC : Below the shaking map published by the Chinese Seismological agency. To be noticed a far great strong shaking area than the USGS (M5.8) map below.

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 13.09.39

Update 11:55 UTC : Apparently there are NO big buildings collapsed, neither in Xinduqiao nor in Tagong, which is very good news. No images yet from the epicenter area. We expect also landslides to have occurred as this is a mountainous area.
Below the seismic map of the greater epicenter area. Combined with the beach-ball below and the faults on this seismic map, we can now say that the ground movement went from South-East to North-West

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 12.59.59

Update 11:21 UTC : Beijing News reported that in Xinduqiao town residents said that many houses collapsed, mostly older Tibetan houses, more recently build houses have only been damaged. Currently, NO no rescue personnel arrived as yet, some areas have still electricity, communications are on and off.

Update 11:18 UTC : The earthquake was even felt as far as Chongqing

The picture below has been taken in Kangding 40 km from the epicenter

The picture below has been taken in Kangding 40 km from the epicenter

Update 11:14 UTC : Some walls of Kangding Airport are showing cracks. 3 trains lines are delayed because the railway personnel has first to inspect the rails.

Update 11:10 UTC : Unconfirmed reports are mentioning that one 73 year old man from Kangding was killed due to the earthquake. The exact reason has not been reported.

Update 10:59 UTC : People living in the wider earthquake area (including Kangding) are on the streets and are afraid to go inside again.

Update 10:56 UTC : Medical teams have been sent to the epicenter area. China has probably the best managed earthquake response teams in the world. Part of the response is by the Chinese Army. A lot of specialized material can be put into work within 24 hours (heavy material, telecommunications, field hospitals, etc etc)

Update 10:23 UTC : The first reports from the biggest nearby city Kangding are hopeful. No widespread collapses houses and only 1 injured person because of broken glass. Specialized teams are now rushing to the villages closest to the epicenter. We keep you informed when new reports are coming in. The earthquake was strongly felt in Kangding (39 km from the epicenter)

Update 10:13 UTC : The earthquake was felt strongly in Chengdu (based on Chinese readers reports). Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province. The Chengdu districy has a population of 16 million. Chengdu itself is however not an important risk for this earthquake.

Update 09:59 UTC : ER calls the below village as most in danger as it is located closest to the epicenter (approx. 6 km). The epicenter (breaking itself is located on the edges of the high mountain chain (which is normally good news).

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 10.58.53

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 10.57.44

Update 09:50 UTC : Further bad news for this earthquake. The beach-ball shows a strike-slip earthquake type, the most dangerous one with a mainly horizontal movement. Older houses and buildings can be severely damaged by this type of earthquake.

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 10.49.43

Update 09:43 UTC : Below the map as reported by the Chinese Seismological Agency. The upper dot is today's epicenter, the lower dots other +M5 earthquakes this year. important to say about this map is that the earthquake is NOT an aftershock but a mainshock.

Image courtesy and copyright Chinese Seismological Agency

Image courtesy and copyright Chinese Seismological Agency

Update 09:37 UTC : The Chinese authorities are reporting a Magnitude of 6.3 at a depth of 18 km. These data are confirming our earlier expectations. Damage and injuries almost certain, hopefully no fatalities.

Update 09:25 UTC : Prof. Max Wyss who specializes in theoretical calculations of injured and fatalities based on many parameters expect for this earthquake 0 to 200 fatalities and 50 to 500 injured. Let's hope that he is wrong this time or that only his minimum values will be reached.

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 10.24.07 Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 10.24.19 Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 10.24.36

39km (24mi) NW of Kangding, China
168km (104mi) W of Linqiong, China
203km (126mi) SSW of Wuwei, China
216km (134mi) WNW of Leshan, China
1111km (690mi) NNW of Ha Noi, Vietnam

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 5.9

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2014-11-22 16:55:29

GMT/UTC Time : 2014-11-22 08:55:29

Depth (Hypocenter) : 10 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Share your earthquake experience (I Have Felt It) with our readers.
Click on the "I Felt It" button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

Refresh this list
SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
EMSC Western Sichuan, China Nov 22 08:55 6.0 10 MAP
  • Chengdu - No property damage, just slight shaking, very mild.
  • Chengdu - Sitting quietly and working on my laptop in our home. I felt the couch under me move from side to side. It took a couple seconds to realize that it was an earthquake. I alerted my husband who was sleeping in the reclining chair but by then it had passed.
  • GEOFON Sichuan, China Nov 22 08:55 5.9 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Kangding, China Nov 22 08:55 5.9 14 MAP


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    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) ?
    People
    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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