09/15/2021 - Earthquake in Sichuan, China

Impact
Country Displaced Injured Dead Damaged Buildings Destroyed Buildings
China 76548 146 3 23289 1004

Detailed damage statistics, damaged / destroyed buildings for

China 0 0 0 0 0 23289 / 1004 0 0

Source: Earthquake Impact Database

Affected Population
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Event Characteristics
Latitude 29.21 °N
Longitude 105.36 °E
Date & Time Sept. 15, 2021, 8:33 p.m.
Magnitude Mw 5.4
Depth 10 km
Last Update 2021-09-16
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09/16/2021 7:03 a.m.

Moderate, damaging earthquake in China

A moderate earthquake has caused significant damage within the Sichuan basin last night. With Mw5.4 according to the USGS (Ms 6.0 CEIC) this quake became rather destructive due to the small depth and the high population density nearby. Preliminary official reports say that at least three people were killed while 88 others suffered injuries. More than 24,000 residental units were damaged, 1004 of them collapsed. Of the affected population more than 74,000 residents were evacuated. Rescue and assessment work is still ongoing. Over the past decade, the Sichuan basin has seen a significant uptick of seismicity, including several destructive earthquakes in the range between magnitude 5 - 6. Natural gas production with hydraulic fracturing and waste water disposal has been intensified in this time, leading to a high rate of induced seismicity in several places. The current epicenter is located within the Rongchang-gas field with several water disposal wells. These were shut down in 2013 but induced seismicity continued, including a damaging M4.8 in December 2016. However, for now it remains unclear whether the current quake is related to the past activities but the spatial correlation as well as the significant losses might indicate an induced origin.