2013 Lushan earthquake

Coordinates: 30°17′02″N 102°57′22″E / 30.28389°N 102.95611°E / 30.28389; 102.95611
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2013 Lushan earthquake
2013 Lushan earthquake is located in Sichuan
2013 Lushan earthquake
2013 Lushan earthquake is located in China
2013 Lushan earthquake
UTC time2013-04-20 00:02:47
ISC event607304721
Local date20 April 2013
Local time8:02 am CST
Magnitude7.0 Ms (CENC)[1]
6.6 Mw (USGS)[2]
Depth< 13 km (8.1 mi)[3]
Epicenter30°17′02″N 102°57′22″E / 30.28389°N 102.95611°E / 30.28389; 102.95611[2]
Lushan County, Sichuan
Areas affectedPeople's Republic of China (Sichuan, Chongqing, Shaanxi)
Max. intensityMMI VIII (Severe)

Aftershocks1,815[4] (2022 aftershock Ms  6.1[5])
Casualties193 dead
23 missing
15,554 injured [6][7][8][9]
Ya'an earthquake
Lushan earthquake
Traditional Chinese蘆山地震
Simplified Chinese芦山地震
USGS ShakeMap of the Ya'an earthquake mainshock intensity

The Lushan earthquake or Ya'an earthquake (Standard Tibetan: གཡག་རྔ་ཡི་ས་ཡོམ་, Yak-ngai Sayom) occurred at 08:02 Beijing Time (00:02 UTC) on April 20, 2013. The epicenter was located in Lushan County, Ya'an, Sichuan, about 116 km (72 mi) from Chengdu along the Longmenshan Fault in the same province heavily impacted by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.[10] The magnitude of the earthquake was placed at Ms 7.0 by China Earthquake Data Center, Ms 7.0 by Russian Academy of Sciences, Mw 7.0 by Geoscience Australia, Mw 6.6 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS),[11] Mw 6.6 by the European Alert System (EMSC) and Mj 6.9 by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). 1,815 aftershocks have been recorded as of 00:00 (UTC+8h) April 22.[4]

Tectonic setting[edit]

A map of the India-Asia deformation zone with active faults in the region.

The active plate tectonics of the Sichuan Basin is dominated by the north–south continental collision of the Indian Plate and Eurasian Plate. As the Indian Plate collides along a convergent plate boundary known as the Main Himalayan Thrust, it being of continental crust does not subduct, rather, it plows into the Eurasian Plate. This process severely deforms the Eurasian Plate, uplifting the crust, forming the Tibetan Plateau. The force of the Indian Plate converging pushes the Tibetan Plateau east, towards the Sichuan Basin, forming another zone of collision. This collision and resulting crustal deformation of the Eurasian Plate is accommodated by the Xianshuihe fault system, Kunlun Fault, Altyn Tagh fault, and Longmenshan Fault. The presence of active faults in Sichuan makes the region vulnerable to damaging earthquakes. The deadly 2008 Sichuan earthquake occurred due to a thrust fault rupture on the Longmenshan Fault.[12]


The earthquake has resulted in 196 people dead, 24 missing, at least 11,826 injured with more than 968 seriously injured as of 5:00 PM (UTC+8h, April 20).[6][7] Sichuan provincial government has held the 3rd press conference on April 21, reported that the earthquake has resulted in 186 people dead, 21 missing, 11248 injured and 852 of them seriously as of 2:00 PM (UTC+8h, April 21), this is still the latest official report.[6] Several townships suffered major damage,[3][9] and many old buildings in Lushan collapsed.[13] The electricity service was interrupted, and the electricity grids in the counties of Baoxing, Lushan, and Tianquan disintegrated.[14][15] Telecommunication was interrupted in part of Ya'an.[16] The Chengdu–Ya'an and Ya'an–Xichang sections of the G5 Beijing–Kunming Expressway were reserved exclusively for vehicles for rescue purpose and closed to other vehicles.[17] The Xiaojin section (小金段) of Sichuan Provincial Highway 210 between Baoshan (宝山) and Lushan was interrupted.[17] A debris dam appeared in Jinjixia (金鸡峡) of the Yuxi River (玉溪河) in Lushan.[18] 2 volunteers were injured seriously in a traffic accident on the way to Lushan.[19] However, around 60 giant pandas in the BiFengXia National Nature Reserve in Ya'an, were left unharmed by the devastating earthquake.[20]


The epicenter was located in Lushan. As of April 21, it was reported that 120 people died, 578 people were seriously injured, 5537 slightly injured, 278 saved from the ruins, and 3 still missing in Lushan County.[21] The electricity grid disintegrated, and there were no water and gas services. According to China News Service, "100%" of houses in the 9 towns and townships and in the county seat were damaged.[21]


As of April 21, it was reported that 24 people died, 2500 were injured, and 19 missing in Baoxing County.[22] The electricity, water, and gas services were interrupted in the county seat. Most of houses in the county seat of Baoxing were uninhabitable. Water, medicines, and tents were urgently needed.[22] Some rescuers had had to walk to Baoxing because major roads to there were cut off.[23][24] On April 22, it was reported that the access to the county seat of Baoxing had been restored.[25]

Rescue efforts[edit]

About 8,000 soldiers from the People's Liberation Army were sent into the stricken area in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, as well as 1,400 provincial rescue workers and 120 support vehicles. Also, 180 doctors from a Chinese emergency response team and search-and-rescue dogs were dispatched, with volunteers mobilized from other parts of the country.[26]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang toured the area and emphasized the need for quick action. Officials warned that regional rainfall and aftershocks were factors complicating the rescue efforts, with potential secondary effects like additional landslides and further building collapses being concerns. Impassible roads and damaged communications infrastructure posed substantial challenges to rescue efforts.[27]

Hong Kong donations controversy[edit]

Hong Kong chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, put forward a proposal to the Legislative Council to donate HK$100m ($13m) to the Sichuan provincial government for relief efforts. However, the government motion was vehemently opposed by legislators, in particular pan democrats, who feared that the local government would misuse the funds destined to help with earthquake relief efforts.[28][29] Apparent signs of misappropriations or misuse by local officials of $HK9 billion donated after the earthquake in 2008 was cited as one major concern. The proposal failed to win support of Hong Kong people.[28][29] A civic campaign was started online to try to stop earthquake donations falling into the hands of corrupt officials; and the liberal Apple Daily highlighted embezzlement scandals on the mainland.[30] To satisfy the legislature, the Hong Kong government was forced to donate the money to registered Hong Kong non-governmental organisations.[31]

Day of mourning[edit]

On April 25, the provincial government of Sichuan announced that April 27 (seven days after the occurrence of Lushan earthquake) would be the day of mourning for those that passed in earthquake.[32] Public entertainment was forbidden, and the sound of siren wailed for 3 minutes to mourn the loss of earthquake.[32] The domestic media also mourned the passed in different ways.[33] Baidu changed its background of the page to black.[34] The social media also developed a special feature about the Lushan earthquake.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ China's government. "The official Data of China Earthquake Net Center" (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  2. ^ a b "M6.6 – 50km WSW of Linqiong, China". U.S. Geological Survey. April 20, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "China's Sichuan province hit by powerful earthquake, killing 2 but death toll expected to rise". The Washington Post. Associated Press. April 19, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "四川雅安已记录到余震1815次 强余震仍在发生". 新浪新闻. April 22, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  5. ^ "四川地震局:此次四川芦山6.1级地震属2013年"4·20"7.0级地震余震" [Sichuan Earthquake Administration: The Sichuan Lushan M6.1 earthquake is an aftershock of the 2013 "4.20" M7.0 earthquake]. China Central Television (in Chinese). China News Service. 1 June 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  6. ^ a b c "雅安地震共造成193人死亡21人失踪". 凤凰网资讯. April 21, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "我省雅安市芦山县发生7.0级地震(续七)". 四川省民政厅. April 21, 2013. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  8. ^ ""4·20"芦山地震:遇难人数升至186人". Xinhua News Agency. April 21, 2013. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Death toll rises to 180 in China quake". Xinhua News Agency. 21 Apr 2013. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-21.
  10. ^ "An earthquake with magnitude 6.6 occurred near Leshan, Sichuan, China at 00:02:47.27 UTC on Apr 20, 2013 on Google Public Alert". April 20, 2013.
  11. ^ "最新地震" [Newest earthquakes]. Data.earthquake.cn. Archived from the original on May 1, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  12. ^ Becky Oskin (21 April 2013). "What Caused The Deadly China Earthquake?". Live Science. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  13. ^ "雅安芦山当地老房子大量坍塌 已发生10余次余震 – 新华时政 – 新华网" [Many old buildings in Lushan, Ya'an have collapsed; 10 aftershocks have already occurred]. Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on October 7, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  14. ^ "震区电力全部中断 四川电力公司应急救援队赶往现场 – 地方联播 – 新华网" [Electrical service in the earthquake area has been completely cut; Sichuan Electric Power Corporation sent an emergency team to the affected areas]. Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  15. ^ "震区电网受损较严重 灾后电力抢险工作全力展开 – 地方联播 – 新华网" [Earthquake area electrical network has suffered relatively severe damage; post-disaster electrical emergency measures have been activated in full]. Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on October 7, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  16. ^ "雅安地区139个基站中断 四川移动派出抢险队伍赶赴灾区 – 地方联播 – 新华网" [139 base stations in Yan'an City have been cut; Sichuan Mobile has sent emergency teams to the disaster area]. Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on April 23, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  17. ^ a b "成都至雅安段高速通行正常 沿线收费站已取消收费 – 新华时政 – 新华网" [Chengdu–Ya'an section[ of the G5 Beijing–Expressway ]operating normally; tolls have been suspended]. Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on October 7, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  18. ^ "雅安地震灾区玉溪河形成堰塞湖". District.ce.cn. 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2013-04-21.
  19. ^ "两名志愿者赴灾区救援途中出车祸重伤". 凤凰网资讯. April 21, 2013. Archived from the original on May 7, 2019. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  20. ^ Krishnan, Ananth (April 22, 2013). "Pandas in quake-hit reserve unharmed". The Hindu.
  21. ^ a b "芦山县死亡119人 全县9乡镇和县城房屋100%损毁-中新网". Chinanews.com. 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  22. ^ a b "四川宝兴县城绝大部分房子都不能住人 急需帐篷-中新网". Chinanews.com. 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  23. ^ "公安消防官兵进入宝兴县 已救出被困群众94人 - 新闻中心 - 新华网". Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved 2013-04-21.
  24. ^ "四川公布灾区路况:省道210线芦山至宝兴塌方中断 - 新华时政 - 新华网". Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on May 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  25. ^ "雅安地震宝兴灾区道路抢通纪实 - 新华时政 - 新华网". Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  26. ^ "Deadly Chinese Quake Evokes Bitter Memories of 2008 Temblor". The New York Times. April 20, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  27. ^ "China earthquake death toll reaches 156; more than 3,000 hurt". Los Angeles Times. April 20, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  28. ^ a b "Sichuan earthquake: Hong Kong urges aid veto over corruption fears". The Independent. 2013-04-24. Archived from the original on 2022-05-01.
  29. ^ a b "Hong Kong Boycotts Donations for Sichuan Earthquake · Global Voices". Global Voices. 2013-04-25.
  30. ^ "China media: Quake donations debate". BBC News. 2013-04-23.
  31. ^ "Legco approves HK$100m Sichuan quake donation". South China Morning Post. 3 May 2013.
  32. ^ a b "四川今日全省"禁娱"哀悼雅安地震遇难者". Archived from the original on 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
  33. ^ Baidu
  34. ^ "悼念雅安地震遇难同胞,百度变黑色". Archived from the original on 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
  35. ^ "Sina Visitor System". weibo.com.

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