China Earthquake Networks announced that at 5:00 p.m. on June 1, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake occurred in Lushan County, Ya’an City, Sichuan Province. Three minutes later, in Baoxing County, also in Ya’an City, a magnitude 4.5 earthquake occurred.
On June 2, at 7:48 a.m., a 3.2-magnitude earthquake occurred in Lushan district, Ya’an city.
Thus, after only two days, Ya’an city suffered 3 consecutive earthquakes.
The earthquakes caused loss of life and property in the Ya’an area.
Four people were killed and 41 injured in the Lushan earthquake. Local rescue officials said the quake affected more than 13,000 people, damaged five hydroelectric plants, and caused extensive damage to many homes.
A video captures the scene of traffic jams after a landslide. Cars overturned, falling rocks hit some, one person was still stuck in the car, it is unknown if she survived.
Another video recorded people running out of their homes in panic. From the mountain came a great roar. The walls of the houses have cracks, and debris can be seen in the middle of the street.
More than 4,500 people, including militia, police, medical personnel, firefighters, etc., arrived in Ya’an city to participate in the emergency rescue.
Mr. Wang from Feixian town, Lushan district, said the earthquake affected traffic. He told Chinese-language media Xi Wang Zhi Sheng: “There must have been a house collapse in those mountains. People must have been injured. In our town and the nearby town in the county, there wasn’t much damage, but in the Baoxing mountains it will be more severe. We live at home. They live in tents in the mountains.”
The Sichuan Earthquake Administration said that the event was an aftershock of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Lushan County, Ya’an City, in April 2013.
The 2013 earthquake killed nearly 200 people. Another quake, with a magnitude of 4.9, struck nearby in May, damaging 468 homes.
Chinese-language media Da Ji Yuan also reported that the 2013 Ya’an aftershock was considered by some experts to be the “aftershock” of the Wenchuan earthquake of May 2008.
This means that 14 years after the 2008 earthquake, the aftermath is still devastating.
It is worth noting that accurate predictions about earthquakes often come from foreign experts, while local officials are quite negligent.
Chinese-language media Da Ji Yuan reported that the government barely releases accurate earthquake forecasts to the public in advance. The advice and warnings of foreign experts tend to be ignored or even rejected by authorities.
For example, in 2008, USGS geophysicist Thomas Parsons predicted that large-scale aftershocks could occur in the Sichuan Basin lasting from a few years to decades. He wrote his warning in detail and published it in the journal Nature in July 2008.
He told China’s “The 21st Century Business Herald” that he was worried about the aftershocks many Sichuan people may face. He was surprised that so many people were still alive in Wenchuan and surrounding areas.
After that, Parsons sent a letter to the Ya’an local government asking the locality to maintain a high level of vigilance.
However, the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) overturned Parsons’ conclusion: “Currently, from the available data and macro anomalies, there is no possibility of a major earthquake in our city,” They consider the Parsons study is only a hazard analysis, not an earthquake prediction. This was the official position of the Chinese government.
Then, in 2013, there was a real earthquake in the area. At 8:02 a.m. local time, April 20, the United States Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 6.6 earthquake that struck Ya’an in Sichuan province. The earthquake left 193 people dead, 12,211 injured, and 25 missing.
Yet Liu Qiyuan, a geophysicist at the Geological Institute of the China Earthquake Administration in Beijing, told the journal “Nature” that the quake was “not surprising.” Liu said: “As the stress has been released by the Ya’an quake, the fault is now safe,” he said referring to the the fault in the southern Longmenshan, “we are monitoring the crust movement very closely,”
However, Mian Liu, a geophysicist at the University of Missouri at Columbia, disagrees. After researching, Mian Liu said that the fault in the Longmenshan section is not necessarily safe. He noted that Ya’an is likely to experience earthquakes of 6-7 magnitude in the next few decades based on seismic measurements.
And in fact, it happened exactly as Mian Liu said.