Main Reason for Casualties in Ludian Earthquake,
due to 90% House Collapse.
The 6.5 earthquake in Yunnan, Ludian County resulted
in disastrous losses.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpiece announced,
the earthquake destroyed more than 80,000 houses; 124,000 houses were damaged; 250,000 people were homeless.
90% of houses completely collapsed at the epicenter,
Longtoushan town of the Ludian County.
An official admitted that the poor seismic capacity of Ludian
County houses is the main reason for
the huge earthquake casualties.
On the 3rd August, an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter
scale occurred in Yunnan Ludian County, with a focal depth of 12 kilometers from the epicenter leading from Ludian County.
Although the earthquake only lasted about 15 seconds,
90% of the houses completely collapsed.
Most residents were unable to escape and were buried alive.
Yunnan Provincial Civil Affairs Department announced, by
10:30 on the 6th August, the earthquake caused 589 deaths,
with 9 missing, 2800 injured, 108000 people were affected,
more than 80,000 houses collapsed, 124,000 houses damaged and 250,000 people were homeless.
It is said that all houses collapsed in a few minutes in the
worst-hit town of Ludian county.
On the contrary, a-64-years old three layer wooden house in an
old street of that town still stands there, which saved the
two sleeping children in the room.
The miracle created by the wood house attracted all the
attention to the jerry-built projects.
CCP Ministry of Civil Affairs also admitted no earthquake
fortification and poor seismic capacity of the houses in
Ludian county is one of the main reasons for
the huge earthquake casualties.
The rescue lady Ms. Wang said, the serious number of
casualties show the local government’s man-made
factor of disregarding life.
She said the local authorities didn’t investigate the
dangerous houses after a couple of earthquakes before.
The volunteer rescue lady Ms Wang: it wouldn’t happen if
they had done a little more in the investigating of dangerous houses.
Since the 2012 Yiliang earthquake to the Yongshan
earthquake on the 5th April, there were many aftershocks.
Their houses have been damaged with some cracks or are in a
semi-dilapidated state, but they continue to live.
The statistics show that the Yunnan Zhaotong town suffered at
least 15 earthquake disasters within a hundred years.
The 7.1 earthquake in 1974 had resulted in 1,423 deaths;
Ludian 5.1 earthquake on the 15th November 15th, 2003 and 5.3
earthquake in Yongshan County of this year were less in
magnitude, but all resulted in local government buildings
being damaged in structure, beam fractures or cracks, etc.
Institute of Geology from Chinese Academy of Geological
Sciences, visiting researcher Ji Shaocheng said in an article:
95% of the deaths in the earthquake is due to the building
collapse from the previous earthquake statistics.
Chengdu, Sichuan geologist Yang Yong said that there are
many precedents that the construction of reservoirs or dams had caused the earthquake.
So we should think twice before doing this.
Chengdu Geologist Yang Yong: There might be some
coincidence of this earthquake from its seismic source and the reservoirs around the area.
The Moon bay, the ceiling hydroelectric station of Niulan
river, as well some under construction power stations on the main river were all storing water in two years.
The Moon bay and the ceiling hydroelectric station are only 10
km away from the epicenter.
Yang Yong pointed out that there are at least three large
hydropower stations on the rivers surrounding Zhaotong city.
Among those hydropower stations, Xiluodu,
Xiangjiaba are all large.
Although they are 4,50 kilometers from the epicenter, you
can’t eliminate their storage process in this area possibly
leading to frequent earthquakes.
The local Zipingpu reservoir is only a few kilometers from
the epicenter in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
After the earthquake, the local jerry-built
projects were exposed.
The mainland writer Tan Zuoren was sentenced to 5 years
imprisonment on charges of inciting subversion of the state’s
political power due to be investigated 23 times into the
earthquake zone and appealed for the dead children.
China Tianwang Human Rights Centre Sichuan director
Huang Qi was sentenced to 3 years in 2009 imprisonment due to
participation in the jerry-built projects after
the wenchuan earthquake.
The authorities banned him from the rescue zone in Ya’an
earthquake zone last year in fear of his exposure about the
re-built jerry-built projects after the Wenchuan earthquake.
Interview & Edit/LiYun Post-Production/chen jianming