A 7.0 magnitude earthquake has just recently struck the western part of #china as reported by the China Earthquake Networks Center. The U.S. #Geological Survey, on the other hand, reported the magnitude of the earthquake that struck the mountainous region near Jiuzhaigou at 6.5. The shaking occurred at exactly 9:20 p.m. #Local Time near a national park, which was then followed by smaller tremors a few minutes later.

Remote area

The epicenter of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck 24 miles away from the country of Jiuzhaigou in a region that is bordered by the Gansu and Sichuan provinces. The quake started at a depth of 5.5 miles, making it a relatively shallow hitting earthquake.

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The region of the quake is located on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, which mostly contains small villages and towns comprised of Tibetans and other ethnic minorities. The area itself also contains the Jiuzhai Valley national park, which features different waterfalls and rock formations that attract a lot of tourist from all over China and other parts of the world.

No damage or casualties

Shallow quakes usually cause more damage than deeper ones. As of this writing, at least 5 people have reportedly been killed, with minor damages also being reported. Unlike previous quakes that struck the country, the area of the quake is not densely populated and there aren't really any tall buildings or structures within the vicinity. However, several photos of a tourist site were uploaded on the internet, which showed significant damage to smaller structures around the area.

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According to Chinese authorities and from computers models via the U.S. Geological Survey, the area that was struck is populated by no more than 87,000 people. Residents near the epicenter likely experienced strong to moderate shaking. Fortunately, the quake occurred a good 177 miles away from the densely populated capital of Sichuan province, Chengdu, which has over 14.43 million residents and numerous tall structures and buildings.

Immediate action

Despite the lack of any major damage, Chinese authorities have already declared a level 1 emergency in the area. Rescue teams and other personnel have already been sent out to the area to assess the situation and to determine whether or not more assistance is required. In the past, lower magnitude earthquakes have wreaked havoc on buildings around China. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the structures on smaller cities have not been designed to withstand even light tremors.