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Luding Earthquake

Luding Earthquake


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The recent earthquake in Luding, Sichuan, China was caused by the collision of the Indian-Australian plates and the Eurasian plates. It was a shallow earthquake that caused significant damage, with 93 people dead, over 200 injured, and 26 still missing. More than 50,000 residents had to evacuate, and over 13,000 houses and infrastructure were damaged or destroyed. The situation is worsened by the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. Mitigation strategies could include using natural materials for construction, adding seismic stations for better prediction, securing heavy objects in homes, and providing repair and reconstruction support. Long-term efforts should focus on raising awareness and providing support for affected children. Today we will be discussing the recent earthquake that happened in Luding, Sichuan, China. But before we start, I will give you some details about the region's past earthquakes. The Sichuan province of China is always known for its active tectonic activities. The province is located on the intersection of the Indian-Australian plates and Eurasian plates along the 155 miles or 249 kilometer long Longmenshan Fault, a source fault caused by the stress produced by the northward moving Indian-Australian plate. May 12, 2008 is remembered in Chinese history as the day of the Wenchuan earthquake, an 8.0 magnitude quake that caused widespread tragedy. The catastrophic earthquake of Wenchuan killed at least 87,000 people, injured more than 374,000, and left 10 million people homeless. It took years for the area to recover and now 14 years later, on September 5, 2022, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Luding County in Sichuan province, China. It is a shallow earthquake 12 kilometer in depth, causing by the collision of the Indian-Australian plates and the Eurasian plates. The monetary value loss is not specified by the Chinese government. However, 93 people died and more than 200 people were injured while 26 people are still missing. More than 50,000 residents were forced to evacuate to safer areas. More than 13,000 houses and other infrastructure were damaged or destroyed. It was the largest earthquake to strike the province since 2017. The powerful quake that happened at noon shattered the houses and buildings and seriously damaged road access and public facilities. Telecommunication lines have only slightly improved in several areas since the last big quake strike. Additional tremor continues to happen and bring significant financial loss and mental trauma to the locals. The situation is exacerbated by the COVID-19 lockdown currently ongoing in most cities in China, which limits people's mobility. Since I am from the Sichuan region, I had many relatives telling me that the local government has set up really restricted laws that prevented them from going outside even though there are still additional tremors that would possibly cause more damage to their buildings or even worse be life threatening to individuals. Some mitigation strategies that the government can do to mitigate the impact of earthquakes include placing strict restrictions on infrastructure protocols such as using natural materials like woods to replace steel and concrete because it has more flexibility which will be more resilient to earthquakes. Furthermore, adding seismic stations in the Sichuan region to better predict when the next earthquake is and warn the citizens about it. Some mitigation strategies that all residents can do in their house include securing heavy objects to walls and floors such as shelves, bookcases, cabinets to prevent it from falling and covering people underneath. Also placing large heavy or breakable objects on lower shelves and having items such as pictures and mirrors away from areas where people usually sit. And in the long term, providing repair and reconstruction support which includes road repair, house repair, infrastructure reconstruction, etc. would be ideal. Also providing support for the children who have lost their parents due to the earthquake. Maybe having like educational funding, healthy growing safeguard to help them pull through this hard time. Having educational systems that raises awareness about the importance of earthquake is also crucial in the long term for a more resilient city.

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