2008 Sichuan Earthquake, China
The Sichuan Earthquake (pronounced ‘sitch-wan’)
registered 8.0 on the Richter Scale. This area of China is
densely populated and the focus of the earthquake was
directly under the town of Wenchuan.
It is thought that the earthquake was caused along the Longmenshan fault, which is on the boundary
between the Indo-Australian and the Eurasian plates. The same collision plate boundary that is
responsible for making the Himalayan Mountains.
Around 70,000 people were killed
374,000 people were injured
4.8 million people were made homeless
Also, 18,000 people remain missing
– never found, buried under collapsed buildings and rubble.
Many animals and crops were also lost.
High death toll was due to a number of factors:
i) the high number of people in the area where the earthquake hit
ii) the time the earthquake hit (2 pm) when people were at work and children at school
iii) the poor quality homes and other buildings, many of which collapsed
Chinese Government very quick to respond and made rescue top priority.
Many emergency forces and earthquake experts sent to the area to help.
But rescue attempts were made difficult by landslides from heavy rainfall
and the earthquake had destroyed many roads.
China now has stricter rules for building stronger houses in earthquake areas.