Sichuan Earthquake

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  • Created by: OctaviaL
  • Created on: 08-06-16 21:56
When did the earthquake happen?
14:28 12th May 2008
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Where did the earthquake happen?
Sichuan province of China near the town of Beichuan. The epicentre was 80km west-northwest of the regional capital Chengdu.
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How deep was the focus?
19km (shallow)
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What was it's magnitude on the Richter scale?
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What is the macro-scale physical cause of the earthquake?
Collision margin of Indo-Australian and Eurasian plates.
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What is Sichuans earthquake history?
Sichuan is a tectonically unstable area with a long history of earthquakes. In 1933 and 7.5 EQ killed more than 9,300.
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What is the local convergence that caused the EQ?
Convergence of Tibet Plateau and Sichuan Basin.
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What blind fault did the earthquake occur along?
Longmenshan fault.
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What man-made structure potentially caused the earthquake?
511ft high Zipingpu dam which holds 315 million tonnes of water. The dam lies 550 yards from the fault line and 3 miles from the epicentre. There have been no seismic activities greater than magnitude 7 along this particular seismic belt before.
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How many buildings are estimated to have collapsed?
5.4 million.
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How many buildings were damaged?
21 million.
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What were the collapsed buildings described as?
Tofu dregs.
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How many classrooms collapsed when schools pancaked? How many students did this kill?
7000 classrooms. 10,000 students.
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Where did a 3-storey school building collapse leaving fewer than 60 out of 900 children alive?
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What affects did the earthquake in the mountains?
Mass movement and slope failure. Beichuan was partly buried by landslides and at least 700 were killed in Qingchuan by a landslide.
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How many barrier lakes were created by landslides blocking river valleys?
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Which was the largest barrier lake? Which river was it on?
Tanigiashan Lake on the Jian River.
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How many people were forced to evacuate when Tanigiashan Lake threatened to breach the temporary earth dam?
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When was Tanigiashan Lake eventually drained?
7th June.
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How many people were killed?
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What were the total rebuild costs? How does this compare to Kobe rebuild costs?
$150bn even higher than Kobe at $120bn.
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How much of Beichuan's population and buildings were lost?
Half the population and 70% of buildings.
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What made bereavement especially difficult for parents?
One Child Policy. Some parents were detained for protesting and many couples went through divorce.
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What aspect of China's demographic makes the loss of children so significant?
China has an ageing population.
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What two prediction attempts were there?
1) Academic journal released 10 months prior almost pinpointed the epicentre but unlikely to have been seen by Chinese officials. 2) Big aftershocks were predicted, although not when, but no attention was pain and 200 were killed in a 7.0 aftershock.
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How much money did China commit to strengthening remaining schools?
£800m for 2600 schools.
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What was given priority in response to the earthquake?
4m new homes, 1m new jobs and high-quality, earthquake-proof building.
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How many new hospitals were built?
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How many new primary schools were built? In which provinces?
4500. Sichuan and neighbouring Gansu and Shaanri provinces.
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What is being expanded to help 1.4m driven to poverty?
Welfare programmes.
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Where has New Beichuan been built?
Safe geological area on flat ground, 25km south of old town.
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Which two things explain impact of natural hazards?
Exposure and vulnerability.
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Why did Sichuan have a high exposure?
Tectonically active area, previous major EQs and 15 million people live near to the epicentre.
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Which other two earthquakes have similar exposure levels? How many people were killed at these?
Northridge (6.7) in 1994 in LA outer suburbs only killed 57. Kobe (6.9) in Japan in 1995 killed 6300.
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Why were the people of Sichuan especially vulnerable?
Poor design and construction of buildings.
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What are China's building regulations?
Since 1976 China has had a stringent earthquake building code. Under China's seismic intensity scale (1-12) Sichuan was classified as a 7, enough risk to make the code mandatory for all new buildings.
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What does China's building code require builders to do? How does this aid the structure?
Add steel to concrete and brick structures which strengthens them, making them less brittle and more ductile.
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What sort of buildings pre-dated the building code?
Low rise masonsry buildings concentrated mainly in rural areas.
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What led to 1000s of modern buildings collapsing?
Combination of severe ground shaking, poor design (lack of steel) and use of inadequate construction materials (e.g. inferior concrete).
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Why did builders use less steel?
Save money.
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Why were parents outraged?
Schools showed most obvious evidence of laxness of building regulations. They often collapsed while adjacent buildings remained intact.
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Why did local people claim the disaster was largely man made?
Result of substandard building work, corruption and lax enforcement of building regulations.
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What did the New York Times claim?
That parents campaigning for justice were harassed by police, detained and threatened with imprisonment.
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What silenced some outraged parents?
Government promises of financial compensation, including one-off payments and pensions.
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What was used to secure social stability?
Extreme use of power and repression.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Where did the earthquake happen?


Sichuan province of China near the town of Beichuan. The epicentre was 80km west-northwest of the regional capital Chengdu.

Card 3


How deep was the focus?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What was it's magnitude on the Richter scale?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is the macro-scale physical cause of the earthquake?


Preview of the front of card 5
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