The China Seismological Network recorded a Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake at a depth of 14 km about 10 km in Weiyuan County in Sichaun Province, China, slightly after 6.40 am local time on Sunday 8 September 2019 (slightly after 10.40 pm on Saturday 7 September GMT). The Earthquake is reported to have killed one person and injured another 29, and to have destroyed at least 17 homes and damaged 215 more.
Firefighters searching damaged buildings in the town of Quan'an in Sichuan Province on Sunday 8 September 2019. Xinhua.
Much of western China and neighbouring areas of Central Asia and the Himalayas, are prone to Earthquakes caused by the impact of the Indian Plate into Eurasia from the south. The Indian Plate is moving northwards at a rate of 5 cm per year, causing it to impact into Eurasia, which is also moving northward, but only at a rate of 2 cm per year. When two tectonic plates collide in this way and one or both are oceanic then one will be subducted beneath the other (if one of the plates is continental then the other will be subducted), but if both plates are continental then subduction will not fully occur, but instead the plates will crumple, leading to folding and uplift (and quite a lot of Earthquakes). The collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates has lead to the formation of the Himalayan Mountains, the Tibetan Plateau, and the mountains of southwest China, Central Asia and the Hindu Kush.
The movement of India into Eurasia over the last 71 million years. 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.
Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.