Sunday 14 May 2017

Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake in western Xinjiang Province, China, kills at least eight.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake at a depth of 10.0 km in the Pamir Mountains of western Xinjiang Province, China, close to the borders with Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, slightly before 6.00 am local time on Thursday 11 May 2017 (slightly before 9.00 pm on Wednesday 10 May, GMT). At least eight people are known to have died following this event, with another eleven injured and over 3000 houses destroyed.

Damage following the 10 May 2017 Xinjiang Earthquake. Xinhua.

The Pamir Mountains lie to the north of the boundary between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, which runs through northern Afghanistan. The Indian Plate is moving northward relative to the Eurasian Plate, causing folding and uplift along this boundary, which has led to the formation of the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan, The Pamirs in Tajikistan, the Himalayas and the other mountain ranges of Central Asia., and which makes the nations in this boundary zone prone to Earthquakes.
 The approximate location of the 10 May 2017 Xinjiang Earthquake. USGS.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.

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