1996 Lijiang earthquake

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1996 Lijiang earthquake
1996 Lijiang earthquake is located in Yunnan
1996 Lijiang earthquake
Date 3 February 1996 (1996-02-03)
Magnitude 6.6 Mw[1]
Depth 11 km[1]
Epicenter 27°17′28″N 100°16′34″E / 27.291°N 100.276°E / 27.291; 100.276Coordinates: 27°17′28″N 100°16′34″E / 27.291°N 100.276°E / 27.291; 100.276[1]
Areas affected China, Lijiang City, Yunnan
Casualties 322 killed, 14,000 injured

The 1996 Lijiang earthquake, which occurred at 7:14 PM on 3 February 1996 near Lijiang City, Yunnan in southwestern China, measured 7.0 on the Richter scale.

According to authorities, 322 people died in the earthquake and 14,000 were injured, 3,800 of them seriously. 186,000 houses collapsed, and another 300,000 people were forced out of their damaged homes.

184 aftershocks occurred in the 26 hours following the earthquake, including 18 which measured between 4.0 and 4.8 on the Richter scale.[2]

In addition to damage to structures from the earthquake itself, it triggered more than 200 landslides in a 12,000 km2 area. Many further landslides occurred in the months afterwards, as monsoon rains swept away debris already loosened by the earthquake, and as late as 1999, scientists warned that widespread ground fracturing caused through much of the area due to the earthquake might lead to further landsliding in the event of heavy rain.[3]

In the aftermath, many high-rise buildings in the area were torn down and reconstructed as traditional single-family dwellings; along with earthquake reconstruction assistance from the provincial government and the World Bank, which was used to restore many traditional streets, bridges, and canals, this played a major role in Lijiang's efforts to achieve designation by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Significant earthquake". National Geophysical Data Center. Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  2. ^ Tyler, Patrick E. (1996-02-05). "China Appeals for Aid After Earthquake Kills 200". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  3. ^ Tang, C.; J. Grunert (1999). "Inventory of Landslides Triggered by the 1996 Lijiang Earthquake, Yunnan Province, China". Transactions of the Japanese Geomorphological Union 20 (3): 335–49. ISSN 0389-1755. 
  4. ^ Ebbe, Katrinka. "Lijiang, China - Earthquake Reconstruction and Heritage Conservation". The World Bank. Retrieved 2007-12-01.