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 (6.8 mi)[1]
Epicenter 27°18′N 100°17′E / 27.30°N 100.29°E / 27.30; 100.29Coordinates: 27°18′N 100°17′E / 27.30°N 100.29°E / 27.30; 100.29[1]
Areas affected China, Lijiang City, Yunnan
Max. intensity X (Extreme)[2]
Casualties 309–322 killed[1]
16,925–17,057 injured[1]

The 1996 Lijiang earthquake occurred at 7:14 p.m. on 3 February near Lijiang City, Yunnan in southwestern China. The shock measured 6.6 on the moment magnitude scale and had a maximum Mercalli Intensity of X (Extreme).


According to authorities, up to 322 people died and more than 16,000 were injured. About 358,000 buildings were destroyed, and 320,000 people were made homeless.[1]


In addition to damage to structures, 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, and as late as 1999, scientists warned that widespread ground fracturing throughout much of the area might lead to further landsliding in the event of heavy rain.[3]


One hundred and eight-four aftershocks occurred in the first 26 hours, including 18 which measured between 4.0 and 4.8 on the Richter scale.[4]


Many high-rise buildings in the area were torn down and traditional single-family dwellings were constructed in their place. Reconstruction assistance from the provincial government and the World Bank was used to restore traditional streets, bridges, and canals. These efforts played a major role in Lijiang's efforts to achieve the World Heritage Site designation by UNESCO.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f USGS (September 4, 2009), PAGER-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2008_06.1, United States Geological Survey 
  2. ^ USGS (December 1, 2008), EXPO-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2007-12, United States Geological Survey 
  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. ^ Tyler, Patrick E. (1996-02-05). "China Appeals for Aid After Earthquake Kills 200". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  5. ^ Ebbe, Katrinka. "Lijiang, China - Earthquake Reconstruction and Heritage Conservation". The World Bank. Retrieved 2007-12-01.