2003 Bachu earthquake

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2003 Bachu earthquake
2003 Bachu earthquake is located in China
2003 Bachu earthquake
Date 24 February 2003 (2003-02-24)
Magnitude 6.3 Mw
Depth 11 kilometres (7 mi)
Epicenter 39°37′N 77°14′E / 39.61°N 77.24°E / 39.61; 77.24
Areas affected China
Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan
Casualties 261 dead

The 2003 Bachu earthquake occurred on 24 February, 2003, in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region in northwest China. The epicentre was located near to the town of Jiashi and Bachu County, approximately 105 km east of Kashgar and 310 km west of Aksu. At least 261 people died as a result of the earthquake, and more than 4,000 were injured. Most of the casualties occurred in Bachu county. Almost 10,000 homes were levelled by the earthquake. A further 5 people were killed in powerful aftershocks which occurred on 26 February, 2003.

Tectonic Setting[edit]

Seismic activity is common in the Bachu and the surrounding area. It occurs as a result of movement on fault systems that bound the Tien Shan mountain belt. The Tien Shan is actively evolving, as a result of far-field stresses associated with the collision of India and Eurasia.

According to the moment tensor solution, the earthquake occurred on a thrust fault that dips 6° to the north, and strikes approximately east-west. Such a gentle dip angle implies that the earthquake may have occurred on or just above the basal detachment of the neighbouring fold-thrust belts. There is no evidence of oblique-slip or strike-slip movement.

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