Home / News Type Content Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Earthquake Leaves Region Largely Unscathed
Adjust font size:

Some residents felt "dizzy" while others reported that chairs they were sitting in appeared to be pulled by "invisible hands". But an earthquake which jolted a county near the Chinese capital at midday yesterday appears not to have injured anyone or significantly damaged property.

"The quake, measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, caused no injury to either humans or animals but left cracks on at least 210 houses," said Ma Yingcai, an official in Wen'an County in north China's Hebei Province which borders Beijing.

Immediately after the quake, which hit at 11:56 AM, the local government set up a rescue headquarters, sent assessment staff to villages and used TV and loudspeakers to inform the 430,000 residents of the area what had happened, said Ma. 

People whose homes were damaged had been relocated, he added.

Aftershocks were expected to hit the region but they'd probably be smaller than the midday quake, Huang Jianfa, a division director of the China Seimological Bureau told China Daily.

"It's normal for less severe aftershocks to occur within a week following a major tremor," said Huang. He was among a team sent in by the earthquake agency early yesterday afternoon to carry out monitoring and assess damage in Wen'an.

At least 17 earthquakes similar to this occur in China every year, Huang said.

The impact on the county was less than expected and it seemed the earthquake had aroused stronger reactions in Beijing and Tianjin than in Wen'an which appeared to have been almost unscathed by events, Huang told a news briefing later.

A scheduled open-air movie show went ahead as planned in Wen'an last night with several hundred people watching in a square with pedestrians and traffic filling the streets as usual.

In Wenxinyang Village 360 primary pupils will continue their classes elsewhere today after big cracks appeared in their school which led to it being classified as "a dangerous building," said schoolmaster Ma Jinming. 

Sun Ronghua, the only doctor in the worst hit Bijiafang Village, said she received no patients injured in the quake yesterday afternoon.

The earthquake did, however, alarm people.

Villager Bi Chunying, 58, said he was going to keep his door open at night and sleep with his clothes on.

Seismic shocks spread to Beijing, 120 kilometers north; Tianjin, 80 kilometers northeast and even as far as Shandong and Shanxi provinces yesterday at noon before finding their way into the headlines in cyberspace.

Wang Yelun, a Beijing resident, said he was startled when sitting in a restaurant as he felt as though someone was pulling his chair. "Many people realized it was an earthquake and rushed out of the restaurant," he said.

A woman patient at No 1 Central Hospital in Tianjin, who identified herself only as Wang, said at first she thought her relatives were shaking her bed and she felt "dizzy" when it shook for a third time.

For many people yesterday's quake was a reminder of the catastrophic earthquake which devastated the city of Tangshan 30 years ago.

Also in Hebei Province, about 200 kilometers east of Beijing, the Tangshan earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, left 240,000 dead and 160,000 seriously injured.

Experts with the China Seimological Bureau advised Beijing residents not to believe rumors or panic as buildings in the capital were designed to resist earthquakes with a seismic intensity scale rating of VIII, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The seismic intensity scale is a way of rating the effects of an earthquake at different sites. Intensity ratings are expressed as Roman numerals with I at the low end and XII at the high.

Rescue Work Under Way in Quake-hit County

By late Tuesday night there were no reports of casualties after a quake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale jolted Wen'an County in north China's Hebei Province at Tuesday noon.

The county started its quake emergency plan immediately after it was hit by the quake at 11:56 AM (Beijing Time) Tuesday making information available about the incident through the media, said a county government source.

A team had been set up to organize rescue work and township officials have been requested to report damage and casualties, said the source.

Township officials have gone to villages to investigate and will evacuate those whose houses had been damaged, said the source.

All primary and middle schools have been closed for safety purposes and end-of-semester exams scheduled for July 5-6 have been postponed.

At 10 PM Tuesday damage assessment continued but there's no report of any casualties, the source said.

The quake was also felt in Beijing, Tianjin and parts of Hebei, Shandong and Shanxi provinces, according to the China Seismological Bureau.

(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily July 5, 2006)



Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Earthquake Jolts North China County, Felt in Beijing
Most Viewed >>
- World's longest sea-spanning bridge to open
- Yao out for season with stress fracture in left foot
- 141 seriously polluting products blacklisted
- China starts excavation for world's first 3G nuclear plant
- Irresponsible remarks on Hu Jia case opposed 
- 'The China Riddle'
- China, US agree to step up constructive,cooperative relations
- FIT World Congress: translators on track
- Christianity popular in Tang Dynasty
- Factory fire kills 15, injures 3 in Shenzhen

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys