Thursday 2 June 2022

Magnitude 6.1 Earthquake in Sichuan Province, China, kills at least four people.

The China Earthquake Networks Center recorded a Magnitude 6.1 Earthquake at a depth of about 17 km, in Lushan County, about 65 km to the southwest of the city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province, at about 5.00 pm local time on Wednesday 1 June 2022 (about 9.00 am GMT). The event was followed by a Magnitude 4.1 aftershock about three minutes later. Four people are known to have died following these events, with a further fourteen injured, one of them seriously, and a number of buildings have been damaged.

A car partially buried by an Earthquake in Sichuan Province, China, on 1 June 2022. Visual China Group/Getty Images.

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.

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