Saturday 31 August 2013

Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake hits Ürümqi in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of northwest China.

A Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake at a depth of 27.7 km hit the northern suburbs of Ürümqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the far northwest of China, slightly before 1.30 pm local time (slightly before 5.30 am GMT) on Friday 30 August 2013, according to the United States Geological Survey. There are no reports of any damage or casualties, but strong shaking was felt locally and some power-outages occurred, leading to schools in some parts of the city to close early.

People evacuated from buildings following the 30 August 2013 Ürümqi Earthquake awaiting the all clear. CNTV.

Ürümqi lies in the Tian Shan Mountains, which stretch for 2500 km across Xinjiang, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The Tian Shan are part of the Himalayan Orogenic Belt, mountains in Central Asia pushed upwards by the collision of India and Asia. The Indian Plate is currently pushing into the Eurasian Plate from the south at a rate of 3 cm per year. Since both are continental plates, which do not subduct, the Eurasian Plate is folding and buckling, causing uplift in the Himalayas and other mountains of Central Asia. This is not a smooth process, the rocks will remain effectively stationary for log periods of time while pressure builds up, then give suddenly, releasing large amounts of energy in the form of Earthquakes.

The approximate location of the 30 August 2013 Ürümqi Earthquake. Google Maps.

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