Deadly earthquake in Sichuan, China (Jiuzhaigou County) - At least 25 people killed, 525 injured - August 8, 2017

Damage report in cooperation with the 2017 Earthquake Impact Database - EID on Google Docs

Update 07:27 UTC: New update : sadly enough there was a further increase of the fatalities which stands now at 25. The number of injured slightly increased to 525. The material damage is however much bigger than initially thought.
73671 houses were damaged (very light to severe) and 1680 were destroyed!


Update Saturday 09:12 UTC: 12days interferogram

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 11.11.29


Update Friday, 21:56 UTC:  New numbers
- 23 fatalities :((
- 493 people injured 🙁

Update 14:42 UTC:

Update 08:51 UTC:

Update 08:41 UTC: New preliminary toll :
- 20 fatalities
- 431 people injured
- 272 houses collapsed
- 8029 houses damaged

Update 08:37 UTC: Impressive satellite picture from the epicenter area before and after the earthquake.
Professor Dave Petley, specialized in landslides : This sensational before-and-after image pair collected by planetlabs shows landslides triggered by the earthquake in China on 8th August

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 10.37.15

Update 22:59 UTC: Further increase of the number of injured Now 343

Update 15:26 UTC: Beware of aftershocks! All the people on this video are sleeping under the sky as they fear violent aftershocks. They are so right!

Update 12:13 UTC: The ultimate explanatory earthquake poster from this earthquake comes from seismologist Jay Patton. Click on the image to be linked to his site. The poster and additional material can be viewed in his site.

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 14.10.46

Update 12:02 UTC: Luckily no new fatalities but unfortunately a higher number of injured, now at 263

Update 09:56 UTC: Villages in mountainous areas are often hard to reach after an earthquake. This image shows why. It can often take many days to clear roads of landslides debris.

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 11.52.15

Update 08:54 UTC:
This fault system, created by the collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates, is known to undergo a slip rate of several millimeters per year and is one of the primary sources of seismic hazards in China.  In the past century, several significant earthquakes occurred at the eastern end of this major continental strike-slip fault system. Among them were the magnitude-7.3 Diexi earthquake in 1933, which resulted in a death toll of nearly 9,300, and the magnitude-7.2 Songpan earthquake in 1976, both of which occurred near the epicenter of yesterday’s earthquake.
Although the earthquake that had occurred last evening was not as strong as these earlier events, it may also trigger some hazardous landslides in the region close to the epicenter.
Although China is located far from the major fault at the Indo-Eurasian plate boundary - the Himalayan Frontal Thrust - the powerful northward tectonic collision between the Indian and the Eurasian plates created a wide deformation zone within inner China. This is evident from the long history of earthquakes written into Chinese literature, including the destructive 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
(Source: Singapore earth observatory).

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 10.57.01-compressed

Image courtesy USGS Artist's conception of the 6,000-km-plus northward journey of the "India" landmass (Indian Plate) before its collision with Asia (Eurasian Plate).

Update 08:08 UTC: At this moment more than 1000 tourists are still waiting to be evacuated from the earthquake zone. Many roads are still blocked due to landslides and are only gradually opened.

Update 08:04 UTC: New preliminary toll :
- 19 fatalities
- 217 people injured
- 20,000 people displaced
- 30,000 people evacuated

Update 07:42 UTC:

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 09.38.25

Update 06:31 UTC: At least 3 aftershocks of M4.5 or stronger

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 08.35.02

Update 05:35 UTC: at least 13 people killed, 175 injured, 1456 buildings and houses damaged and 223 houses destroyed

Update 23:28 UTC: Police force, especially trained for earthquake response,  assists here with an injured man

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 01.25.50

Update 23:27 UTC: The image below shows people being evacuated from a hotel where the lobby collapsed. No one was hurt in the hotel

Update 22:57 UTC: a further climb in injured to 164. No other important news so far.

Update 20:27 UTC: As could be expected, the death toll continues to climb. Current numbers are 9 people killed and 135 injured.

Update 18:49 UTC: Further increase of the number of injured to 100. At least 2000 people have been displaced

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 20.50.49

Update 18:42 UTC: The death toll has increased to 7. The number of  injured has increased to 88

Update 18:12 UTC: The 5 people who got killed were all tourists

Update 17:33 UTC: The China Earthquake Administration has activated level-I emergency response procedures following a 7.0-magnitude earthquake Tuesday in Jiuzhaigou County in southwest China's Sichuan Province. Work teams have been sent to the stricken area to carry out emergency operations, the administration said in a statement.
China has a four-level earthquake emergency response system, with level-I being the top.
Level-I is only called when the inspection teams are considering it really severe.

Update 17:23 UTC: 610 firefighters & soldiers, 8 sniffer dogs have been dispatched to the hardest hit areas

Update 17:14 UTC:

Update 17:09 UTC: We have updated the number of killed people from 24 to 5 as the 24 killed people referred to a landslide earlier today. The landslide has no link with the M6.5 earthquake. We however expect that the death toll will soon increase, this based on the early reports from the Sichuan Earthquake Authority.

Update 16:53 UTC: The Chinese Railways staff is currently inspecting High Speed Trains rails and bridges. As these have been build recently they are surely very earthquake resistant. As you can notice since we started our report (2 minutes after it happened) the Chinese earthquake response can be called "extremely professional".

Update 16:49 UTC: the Sichuan Earthquake Authority has send tens of inspection teams to the area. If necessary these teams can provide first aid and call in additional support.

Update 16:48 UTC: The Jiuzhaigou scenic area has announced that starting from today and until further notice the area will be closed to tourists

Update 16:43 UTC: Maybe not visible in our earthquake list but people in the earthquake area are reporting a high number of aftershocks

Update 16:40 UTC: The number of injured stands at 63 at the moment but will soon increase

Update 16:37 UTC: Additional image of the damage inside a house

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 18.34.45

Update 16:27 UTC: First image of a collapsed building

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 18.26.22

Update 16:18 UTC: A somewhat better, but still grim, casualties outlook from CEDIM - CATnews :
Dr. James Daniell, specialized  in earthquake impact, has a forecast of 40 to 190 fatalities with a median of 102.

Update 16:01 UTC: BAD NEWS - At least 5 people killed + many more injured.

Update 15:55 UTC: Professor Max Wyss, who specializes in theoretical prognoses of injuries and fatalities expects :  has UPDATED his numbers and they look at a lot grimmer than the first version : 500 to 4000 injured and 200 to 1500 fatalities.

Update 15:45 UTC: Based on earlier experiences we think that most of the information will only arrive at Chinese daylight. It is currently almost midnight and as communications are hampered and as the power is out, only limited reports get out there and in here. Chinese media in 2017 are luckily very present at the earthquake scene and are even broadcasting live, a big difference compared to the cover-up times of the past. If we find new information we will asap share it with you of course.

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Update 15:33 UTC: First video of injured people being treated by friends, relatives and bystanders on the street

Update 15:25 UTC: I do hear many people thinking (earlier remark) why is this a touristic scenic area? The picture shows the answer and at the same time the landscape of the epicenter area

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 17.25.16

Update 15:09 UTC: Video taken by tourist visiting Jiuzhaigou Valley when the M7.0 earthquake hit. People are really panicking, which is not exaggerated during such an earthquake.

Update 15:06 UTC: The first (luckily only) injuries are reported. China's Seismological Bureau did start an emergency response. The Sichuan Military Region is currently verifying the earthquake impact and ordered the armed forces to convene the militia, ready to prepare.

Update 14:58 UTC: Still no power and no communications in the county. Specialized teams are currently inspecting the infrastructure and are helping wherever they can. Chinese earthquake response teams can be considered as the TOP in the world. As China is prone to regular devastating earthquakes the earthquake response authority has among the best material in the world. A command center has the authority to even call for military support.

Update 14:56 UTC: The earthquake prone region is an area which has a lot of hotels and daily visitors. Local statistics are mentioning that the Jiuzhaigou scenic area has approx. 38,000 daily visitors! (most Chinese of course)

Update 14:45 UTC: First image of a landslide (there will be many many more)

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 16.45.17

Update 14:43 UTC: Image from apparently a damaged building under construction

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 16.43.22

Update 14:40 UTC: Main earth movement based on the current focal mechanism. Image courtesy Observatoire Geoscope. We believe that, based on the earlier remark of seismologist Stephen Hicks, Fault Plane 1 is the movement that actually happened.

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 16.39.00

Update 14:23 UTC: Seismologist Stephen Hicks :
M6.5 China earthquake: strike-slip rupture along the Fuya fault? Related to the Longmen Shan fault system that ruptured in 2008 (M7.9).

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 16.22.57

Update 14:17 UTC: First video from the earthquake area

Update 14:17 UTC: It is currently dark in China and the first video shows also darkness on the streets, a bad signal which adds to the chaos after a very strong earthquake

Update 14:15 UTC: The epicenter is located in Jiuzhaigou County, a county of Sichuan Province, China. It is under the administration of the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture.

Update 14:10 UTC: Chinese earthquake specialists have calculated that 21000 people live at less than 20 km from the epicenter and 63,000 in a radius of 50 km. (both these area are dangerous for injuries/fatalities). 300,000 people live within a radius of 100 km.

Update 14:09 UTC: The CENC gives an even stronger Magnitude at a depth of 20 km.

Update 14:05 UTC: We fear that reaching the earthquake area will be very difficult as the few roads leading to the nearby cities will be almost surely blocked by landslides and/or broken roads/unstable bridges.

Update 14:01 UTC: The focal mechanism of this earthquake shows a strike-slip mechanism, a worst case scenario as being the most damaging of all mechanisms.
Do beach balls looks like Chinese or Latin to you, check this article "Understanding Beach Balls"

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 16.01.11-compressed 2

Update 13:54 UTC: the CEDIM CATnews shaking graphic does confirm the extreme danger of this earthquake

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 15.54.57

Update 13:53 UTC: and yet another valley and city we call in extreme danger

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 15.52.53

Update 13:48 UTC: Professor Max Wyss, who specializes in theoretical prognoses of injuries and fatalities expects : 50 to 1000 injured and 0 to 400 fatalities

Update 13:47 UTC: This is the second valley which we traced having the greatest risk

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 15.49.44

Update 13:45 UTC: ER has located 2 valleys at less than 10 km distance from the epicenter. These valleys are in the area we call "extremely dangerous".

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 15.44.21

Update 13:44 UTC: Both shaking and secondary effects like landslides are reasons that this earthquake may turn deadly.

Update 13:39 UTC: The CENC (China's earthquake Authority) reports a M6.5

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 15.39.03

Update 13:36 UTCBased on the present earthquake parameters (Magnitude, Depth, Population, etc) and our experience with earthquake damage impact, calls this earthquake extremely dangerous and expects injuries and serious damage

Update 13:35 UTC: The earthquake happened below a mountainous area in the border region of Gansu and Sichuan.

Update 13:30 UTC: First the good news! The earthquake happened in a sparsely populated area

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.4

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2017-08-08 21:19:50

GMT/UTC Time : 2017-08-08 13:19:50

Depth (Hypocenter) : 9 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Donation - long - San Francisco

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 Sichuan-gansu Border Reg, China Aug 08 22:49 4.5 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Xinjiang - A slight shake for 3-4 seconds which woke most of us from sleep.
  • Cheng Du - The building shook around 5-10 secounds
  • USGS Yongle, China Aug 08 21:37 4.2 10 MAP
  • Chongqing - We barely felt it in our home, but social media showed friends in Chongqing reporting feeling the shake and wondering if it was an earthquake.
  • nanchong - 3 seconds shaking while sitting on a sofa...felt it damage though
  • EMSC Sichuan-gansu Border Reg, China Aug 08 21:37 4.2 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Yongle, China Aug 08 13:19 6.5 9 MAP
  • Chengdu - Sol qui a tremblé nous sommes au 10eme étage de l'hôtel
  • Xi'an - Moderate shaking
  • Chengdu - Building swayed gently 5 times, over about 6 seconds. It is a 15 story building. I was in the middle.
  • Zhengzhou - Shaking lasted about 5-10 seconds
  • Chengdu - It was very weak shaking, I noticed the tv moving a bit
  • Chengdu - Barely noticed shaking on ground floor, but my wife lying in bed in 15th floor apartment reported dizzy wave for 15 seconds whilst lying on bed. Immediate reactions on my wife's WeChat feed from friends, including video footage from a friend driving near MianYang showing landslides on highway. Chengdu hospitals were sending all available ambulances within the hour. Limited information on News feeds, only information through private accounts and first hand witnesses who are friends.
  • Ankang, Shannxi - We are very far from where the Earthquake took place. I actually thought something was wrong with me, I felt myself moving slightly, left to right and dizzy just for about 20 seconds. First time I felt this.
  • xi'an - Strong shaking
  • Xi'an - We live on the 29th floor. We saw the lights swinging around violently and we didn't really feel the floor move. I guess it is just a lot worse if you live up this high. The neighbours on the first floor were almost undisturbed. It all lasted several minutes (it felt like that)
  • Deyang - Weak shaking
  • Chengdu - Bed swayed ever-so-slightly for a couple of seconds. On 6th floor of hotel. First thought: earthquake? Second thought: imagination. Upon waking this morning, I find that my first reaction was, sadly, correct.
  • Deyang City - no damage, but i was frightened.
  • Chengdu - From 30th floor first shaking then swaying lasting 30seconds. Strong enough to get a supplies bag to evacuate
  • GEOFON Gansu, China Aug 08 13:19 6.4 9 MAP I Felt It INFO




    Other earthquakes in the greater epicenter area

    Strongest earthquakes (since 1900) within a 150 km radius from this earthquake


    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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