Major Earthquake This Weekend Hits Sichuan, China

An earthquake of magnitude 6.6 struck near the city of Longmenxiang, in the western portion of China’s Sichuan province. It did considerable damage, killing nearly 200 people and injuring more than 11,000.  This area is very active seismically.  In 2008, a much more powerful quake struck about 90 miles to the northeast, killing nearly 70,000 people, including many children who were crushed when poorly built schools collapsed.

SkyTruth Alerts screen-capture showing the locations of foreshocks and aftershocks of greater than 5.0 magnitude around the magnitude 6.6 quake that struck in western Sichuan Province, China, on April 20, 2013.

You may know that through our SkyTruth Alerts system we publish regularly refreshed data on oil and gas drilling activity, fracking chemical disclosures, and oil and hazardous materials spills and other pollution incidents reported here in the US.  But we also publish notifications from the US Geological Survey for any earthquake in the world large than magnitude 5.0.  Here’s what our Alerts map looks like for the area around the April 20 temblor.  Six separate quakes over 5.0 magnitude occurred in the immediate vicinity of the main 6.6 quake. Two occurred slightly before the main shock; the other four are aftershocks. Look for the small green squares on the image above, or go to SkyTruth Alerts, type “Longmenxiang, China” into the search bar, and see for yourself.