Xinjiang Large Earthquake 7/03

Very damaging and deadly earthquake in Xinjiang, China

Last update: July 3, 2015 at 5:18 pm by By

Update 16:52 TC : New damage numbers :  The number of injured increased to 71. Additionally 7586 houses collapsed, 21248 severely damaged, 47781 slightly damaged

Update : we are very sad to report that 3 people have been killed and at least 30 others injured by this earthquake.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 17.59.08

Update : 2882 houses collapsed and 8630 damaged in an intermediate report.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 11.01.46 Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 11.02.03 Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 11.03.08

95km (59mi) SE of Yilkiqi, China
131km (81mi) SE of Shache, China
164km (102mi) WNW of Hotan, China
289km (180mi) SE of Kashi, China
619km (385mi) NE of Islamabad, Pakistan

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.4

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2015-07-03 09:07:45

GMT/UTC Time : 2015-07-03 01:07:45


Xinjiang, China Earthquake

Xinjiang, China earthquake – collapsed houses, +37 injured, 40 workers and 80 people trapped, 500 houses collapsed, 22000 people affected + more to come

Last update: June 30, 2012 at 10:38 am by By

Update 10:25 UTC
– The damage toll is getting heavier every hour
– Most of the houses in the area have cracks in the walls
– luckily no killed people so far, but based on our China experience and the remote areas still to be inspected, the current state of damage and injuries is only temporary.
– The Chinese seismological agency has recorded 13 aftershocks of M3.0 or higher. 2 aftershocks surpassed the 4 level, an M4.2 at 08:46 local time and a M4.3 at 15:35 local time. All aftershocks have epicenters in the same area and the depths are more or less similar than the mainshock.
– Water distribution, roads, electricity, classrooms, hospitals, offices and other public facilities have various degrees of damage. Relief work is underway.

Big rocks on State Highway 2017 after a landslide – image courtesy and copyright

Very important Update 06:47 UTC :
– a lot of houses collapsed during the shaking
– at least 37 people were injured
– As of 10:30 local time, there were 7223 households, containing 22000 people affected
40 workers have been trapped as well as 80 people when a landslide occurred at State Highway 217, Xinyuan county. The 40 workers were near a mountain top, and 80 people were at hot springs.70 police to the scene to conduct the rescue. An extra 40 soldiers and 10 local police were also sent later.
– 1650 rooms (around 500 houses) have been destroyed, 11300 rooms with moderate damage, and 8050 rooms with minor damage.
– 684 stalls have been damaged including 258 which collapsed killing 112 head of cattle and 245 sheep
– There have also been landslides reported given the torrential rain in the area combined with the shaking.
– temporary blackouts in a wide area
– emergency forces are currently trying to reach more distant locations. Chinese authorities have dispatched 220 assessment staff (analyzing what is needed and inspecting the damage) and 4500 specializeed SAR rescue troops.
– The quake also triggered landslides and caused cave-ins on several national and regional highways in Xinjiang, bringing traffic to a halt and making emergency help extremely difficult
– strong shaking was experienced in Urumqi, the capital of the province
– Two earthquakes measuring more than 7 on the Richter scale have jolted the region since 1900.

Emergency and rescue troops are helping a woman getting away from her partly collapsed house – image courtesy


Update 00:06 UTC :  We will have to wait at least another 3 to 4 hours before the assessment and emergency teams have reached the epicenter area. Trains have been stopped on various rails when the safety system enforced an emergency stop. Rails are currently being expected to avoid further problems (it is known that earthquakes often bend rails due to ground motion)

Update 23:52 UTC :  Emergency plans have been activated. The Chinese authorities are talking from a “larger earthquake disaster” although they have no detailed information yet.  Chinese media are indicating that SAR and assessment personnel has been rushed to the earthquake zone. They have the ability to help people and will tell the disasters offices what material they will need. Chinese will inspect EVERY house for eventual damage in the greater earthquake area. Chinese emergency forces are not perfect but based on what we have seen in the past earthquakes we have followed, ER calls them extremely well organized and disciplined people.

Update 23:48 UTC :  The area is considered in China as very scenic and has some tourist infrastructure. We expect the majority of tourists to be Chinese.

Update 23:30 UTCHongqiaolong looks to us the closest village to the epicenter. The epicenter is however poorly constrained (10 km more or less in another direction may be a big difference). This village and the nearby village of Wulan Hate, are called by ER at extremely high risk for damage and injuries is approx. 20 km from the epicenter. The village is located at an altitude of 2800 meter, the mountain range were the epicenter took place at approx. 3400 meter. The picture shows the traditional Chinese villages which we know are very vulnerable for earthquake damage.

The village of Hongqiaolong is at approx. 20 km from the epicenter. – Click on the picture to make it bigger

Update 22:58 UTC :  Chinese seismological services have reported 7 M+3 aftershocks so far.

Update 22:55 UTC :  Houses in a 50 km area are mostly simple and made from Brick, rocks and adobe. Generally spoken Chinese houses have little resistance against earthquakes. New constructions however are build with a very high earthquake resistance.

Update 22:53 UTC :  Some tourists living in the Xinjiang Nalati prairie cabins told the Chinese media that the earthquake duration was more than 20 seconds (numbers are very variable), and very strong shaking. Among the many residents in Urumqi, the capital was awakened by the earthquake, panic, people running down the stairs to escape (NEVER do this but remain in the house close to an inner wall until the shaking has stopped).

Update 22:42 UTC :  Blackouts are reported in the greater epicenter area.

Update 22:35 UTC :  the earthquake was strongly felt in Urumqi, Shihezi, Changji, Tacheng, Usu and Kuitun. People in these cities are standing in the streets out of fear for more aftershocks. None of these cities would have experienced a theoretical strong shaking (although people are talking different of course)

Update 22:25 UTC : People living in Urumqi (Urumqi  is the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China) are reporting heavy shaking that lasted 1 minute.  This is an additional reason to be concerned. The longer a strong shaking is lasting, the more chance on severe damage. Urumqi is located at approx. 200 km from the epicenter.

Update 22:16 UTC : The Xinjiang seismological bureau is currently organizing SAR teams to be dispatched to the epicenter area. SAR = Search and Rescue teams

Update 22:15 UTC : At least (but probably a lot more) aftershocks have hit the epicenter area. The 2 strongest ones measured M3.9.

Update 22:12 UTC : Chinese authorities have updated the data and are reporting now M6.6 at a depth of 7 km.

Update 22:10 UTC : Chinese seismological staff is among the best trained staff in the world. These people are very well organized and take swift action whenever an earthquake happens. China has a long history of cruel earthquakes.

Update 22:07 UTC : It will take many hours before an in-depth damage report comes in as the epicenter area is very remote and as roads my be blocked by avalanches, damages road cover etc.

Update 22:04 UTC : The shaking has been well felt in the neighboring countries like Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Update 21:58 UTC : The shaking MMI data given below are based on a Magnitude of 6.3. The Chinese authorities however are reporting a 6.7 magnitude at an even shallower depth.

Update 21:54 UTC : One of the biggest treats in this area are landslides.

Landscape approx. 15 km from the epicenter – image courtesy 老何

Update 21:53 UTC : There are luckily NO hydrodams or Nuclear Plants in the greater epicenter area.

Update 21:51 UTC : The landscape in the area tells us high slopes on a high plateau but also a lot of soft land in the area.

Update 21:45 UTC : USGS is predicting a VII MMI (very strong shaking for 1,000 people. 9000 people should feel a strong shaking.

Update 21:45 UTC : GDACS report that 5 people are living in a 5 km radius, 27 in a 10 km radius, 483 in a 20 km radius and 8664 in a 50 km radius. 183,832 in a 100 km radius. We call the 50 km radius at risk for this earthquake.

Update 21:42 UTC : calls a radius of 50 km at high risk for serious damage and injuries

Update 21:40 UTC : 150,000 people are living in a 100 km radius

Update 21:37 UTC : The Chinese seismological authorities reported a depth of 7 km at a Magnitude of 6.7.

The preliminary Magnitude reported at EMSC is 6.3 at a depth of 2 km
The preliminary Magnitude reported at USGS  is 6.3 at a depth of 2 km
The epicenter is located in the Xinjiang mountains at the crossroads between the O217 and G218. Nearest big city (at a safe distance) : Xinjuan

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 6.3 (USGS) 6.7 (CEN)
UTC Time : Friday, June 29, 2012 at 21:07:32 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 05:07:32 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 9.8 km (USGS) 7 km (CEN)
Geo-location(s) :
Closest village / city Gongnaisigouxiang at approx. 25 km
99 km (61 miles) S of Dushanzi, China
Xinjuan at +100 km
151 km (94 miles) SW (230°) from Shihezi, Xinjiang, China

Xinjiang, China earthquake – 52 injured, 3000+ houses (7500 rooms) destroyed, 155000 people affected, $200 million US damage

Xinjiang Desert Earthquake

Strong earthquake in the Xinjiang desert, China

Last update: March 9, 2012 at 12:31 am by By 

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 5.8
UTC Time : Thursday, March 08, 2012 at 22:50:08 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Friday, March 09, 2012 at 06:50:08 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 35.5 km
Geo-location(s) :
approx. 120 km from Aral (closest bigger city)
214 km (132 miles) SSE of Aksu, Xinjiang, China
282 km (175 miles) NNE of Hotan, Xinjiang, China   

China Xinjiang earthquake March 9, 2012

Update 23:54 UTC :
– Xinjiang is the Chinese province which is also called the “Uyghur Autonomous Region“. Xinjiang is often hit bu strong, very strong to even massive earthquakes.
– Aral, the closest city to the epicenter (approx. 120 km) has a population of 200,000.

Update 23:54 UTC :
– Chinese authorities are very skilled in managing earthquake response and special teams will be dispatched to the greater epicenter area. Every crack in a house is recorded and logged, which makes the Chinese statistics among the most detailed in the world.

Update 23:47 UTC :
– The greater epicenter area is Taklamakan Desert (see image below).  Peak ground acceleration is the direct epicenter area is limited.

Update 23:34 UTC :
– The Chinese Seismological Agency (to be trusted) reports a Magnitude of 6.0 at a depth of 30 km, a little stronger than USGS.

Update 23:30 UTC :
– WAPMERR, the theoretical damage engine has calculated that this earthquake will normally not make victims. The max. injured is 0 to 10.

Update 23:28 UTC :
– USGS has calculated (theoretical engines) that 4,000 people will experience a strong shaking, 3,000 a moderate shaking and 508,000 people a light shaking.
– Chinese  houses are mostly build in brick and adobe and are very vulnerable for earthquake damage.

Update 23:22 UTC :
-Luckily the epicenter of this earthquake is located in an unpopulated area. GDACS gas calculated that only 3,523 people are living within a radius of 50 km. 7,224 people in a radius of 100 km and 581,583 people within a radius of 200 km.
– estimates that only the people living within a radius of 50 km have a potential danger of damage.

Update 23:18 UTC :
– Earthquakes with this magnitude can be very dangerous in China.

Update 23:14 UTC :
– (Preliminary) data from other seismological agencies :
EMSC : M 5.9 at 40 km
GEOFON : M 6.0 at 10 km

Desert landscape in the epicenter area – image courtesy lean88888

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Xinjiang Earthquake

Earthquake China today (Xinjiang) : 26 people injured + 80 collapsed rooms

Last update: August 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm by By Armand Vervaeck and James Daniell

Earthquake overview : A new potentially damaging earthquake occurred in the Xinjiang Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture Artux, Kashi Jiashi County. The shallow depth of 8 km combined with the locally measured magnitude of5.8 makes this earthquake extremely dangerous for people living near the epicenter.

China August 11 2011 epicenter area landscape – panoramio picture by littlexu –

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