Yaan earthquake

Live Blog: Yaan earthquake

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 April, 2013, 2:10pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 April, 2013, 3:29pm

11:00pm Latest quake casualty reports by state media stagnant at 157 deaths and more than 5,000 injured for several hours now. 

Latest reports focus on two counties: 

Lushan, where the power is out for most of the town, and tap water is running dry. Thousands of residents spending the night in tents or in the open. Shortage of drinking water, food and tents expected, journalists there say. People on social media calling on PLA Air Force to airdrop more necessities to the town. 

Baoxing, another county seat close to the epicentre. Severe damage to local infrastructure, power out.  Some 40,000 are estimated to be homeless and shelterless. Ground transportation lines in and out of the town are all cut, and its food supply is expected to last only two days, according to journalists who write on social media. 

9:00pm Sleepless night. 


Death toll rises to 152, with more than 5,500 injured and 1.5 million people affected by the tremors, says state broadcaster CCTV.


The Chinese Earthquake Administraton says it has detected at least 624 aftershocks as of 6pm on Saturday, 10 hours after the main tremor hit. Fifteen of these registered above 4.0 magnitude, it says. Two of them measured above 5.0 magnitude.

Below is a map based on USGS data that shows at least 14 aftershocks measuring above 4.0 magnitude, the latest one, 4.8 magnitude according to USGS, took place at 7:12pm local time. 

View Ya'an Earthquake in a larger map

8:15pm Death toll hits 135, says earthquake authority

At least 135 people have died from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit near Ya'an in Sichuan province on Saturday morning, the Chinese Earthquake Administration said. The administration also adjusted its estimate for the number of injured, saying there are more than 5,500 people injured in the city of Ya'an alone. Many counties around Ya'an, 114 km west of Chengdu, also suffered heavy casualties and damages. 

7:45pm "Rumourmonger" arrested after earthquake

Police in Chengdu, a major city 114 km east of the epicentre of this morning's 7.0-magnitude earthquake, say they have detained a "rumourmonger" for disturbing public order. 

Someone claiming to be "a worker at the seismological bureau" had posted messages in a chatroom run by the Chinese search engine company Baidu around noon today, claiming that another, much more powerful earthquake had been predicted to hit Chengdu on April 22. The person falsely claimed that the impending earthquake would measure 9.2 on the Richter scale, according to Chengdu police.

Wasting no time to stamp out any information that could lead to instability, Chengdu police said they quickly located the person and put the person under administrative detention, a punishment that usually last from a few days to two weeks that does not require conviction by a court. They did not release any personal information about the alleged rumourmonger. 

6:45pm Ya'an earthquake death toll reaches 124, according to China Earthquake Administration. More than 3,000 are injured so far. 

6:30pm Premie Li Keqiang arrives in Lushan County, the epicentre of the earthquake. 



6:10pm Google rolls out "Person Finder" service for Ya'an earthquake

Google has started a page to help people find their family, friends and loved ones after the disastrous Ya'an earthquake this morning. The page is apparently not blocked in China, unlike a lot of other Google services. By 6:10pm, the page says it is tracking about 200 records. 


6:00 pm  TV reporter in wedding gown goes viral

Chen Ying, an anchorwoman at a television station in earthquake zone Ya'an, was getting married on Saturday when the earthquake hit her city.

Local media said she rushed back to her job to report on the earthquake in her wedding gown. The photo has since been shared thousands of times on Chinese social media as people spread messages of condolences and pleas for help. Many praise her "professional spirit" on such a disastrous occasion. 





5:30pm CCTV says 113 people confirmed dead so far. 

4:50pm State and local TV stations say death toll rises to 102, with more than 3,000 injured. 

4:40pm Death toll rises to 100

The official People's Daily quoted the China Earthquake Administration as saying that 100 people were so far confirmed killed in today's earthquakes that hit near the city of Ya'an. More than 2,000 were injured, and 383,000 people in 33 counties were affected by the disaster. The casualty figures are expected to rise further as communication and transportation links with the earthquake zones have yet to be fully resumed.


Frantic calls on social media, including the popular, Twitter-like Weibo, for non-emergency vehicles to stay clear of key highways and roads in and leading to the quake zone, as some have been blocked by landslides. Many plead also for companies, households and service operators in the region to open up their wi-fi accesses for victims, residents and rescuers to access information. 

4:15pm Aerial images of the epicentre, broadcast by state television CCTV. 


4:05pm Solider dies as rescue truck tumbles into river

The Huaxi Metropolis Daily newspaper reported that a 20-year-old solider died and seven were injured when a military truck carrying soliders rushing to the rescue of the Ya'an earthquake veered off the road and crashed into a river.

Images broadcast by state television showed a truck on its back lying in a river. The truck was carrying 17 soldiers and drove off the road when its driver tried to avoid a crash with a civilian car and blew a tire, the newspaper said. Three of the soliders injured were in a critical condition, it said. 

4:00pm Google Map: The Ya'an Earthquake and its aftershocks

View Ya'an Earthquake in a larger map

3:30pm State media report that 78 people are confirmed dead and more than 2,000 injured from this morning's earthquakes. Meanwhile, seismoloigcal experts have said the Ya'an earthquake is much less severe in terms of its damages than the Wenchuan earthquake, also in Sichuan, in 2008. 

3:10pm Rushing to the rescue: local teachers put together a motorbike team to help rescue earthquake victims.


According to local government officials, "99 per cent" of the structures in Longmenxiang, Lushan County, the epicentre, have collapsed. An estimated 1.5 million people are affected in a disaster area as large as 12,500 square kilometres.

Chinese media say more than 260 aftershocks have been felt since the original 7.0 magnitude (USGS says 6.6) quake soon afte 8am Beijing time this morning, two of them registering between 5.0 and 5.9. 


2:40pm Photo from Longmenxiang, near the epicentre. 

2:35pm  Local media report that several barrier lakes have formed in Lushan County, near the epicentre of the quake, after rubble and debris blocked rivers. 


2:10pm Youtube video: CCTV footage from a government building in Chengdu, Sichuan, 114km east of the epicentre

2pm -- photo from the epicentre


12:40pm Video: a military truck carrying dozens of soldiers rushing to the rescue veers off road, tumbles into a river. Rescue for soldiers under way. 



8:02am   The death toll from a 6.6-magnitude quake that struck southwest China’s Sichuan province on Saturday has risen to 72,  with 600 injured, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

The shallow earthquake, followed by almost a dozen powerful aftershocks, struck close to the city of Ya’an on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau just after 8:00 am, setting off landslides, destroying buildings and triggering a major rescue operation.