(Yicai Global) Aug. 9 -- A 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook Jiuzhaigou, a popular tourist destination in Sichuan province yesterday. By 8.00 a.m. today, the confirmed death toll was 12 and 175 injuries had been reported. For many, the earthquake brought back memories of the 8.0-magnitude quake that hit Sichuan’s Wenchuan in 2008, but no link exists between the two, said Zhu Hang, a researcher with the province’s earthquake administration.
The two earthquakes did not take place in the same seismic belt, Zhu told Yicai Global. The Jiuzhaigou quake took place along the eastern convergence zone of the Minjiang Fault Zone and the Dongkunlun Fault Zone while the Wenchuan one occurred along the Longmenshan Fault Zone, in a different seismic belt, said Zhu.
These two major tremors both happened in the surrounding fault zones of the Bayan Har Block, which has been active over the last 20 years, he said. The eastern part of its southern block and its entire eastern block are in Sichuan.
Though Sichuan is at the junction of the plates and has experienced frequent earthquakes, most of them happened in scarcely-populated western Sichuan, he said. Sichuan’s densely populated economic hub has enjoyed a stable geological structure and has not been affected recently by a major seismic event.
A national seismic intensity rapid information and warning system is set to be built and is in the concept phase, the head of the Sichuan Earthquake Administration said. Sichuan is the project’s main target.