1920 Haiyuan earthquake

1920 Haiyuan earthquake

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1920 Haiyuan earthquake , was an earthquake that occurred on December 16, 1920. The epicenter
Epicenter
The epicenter or epicentre is the point on the Earth's surface that is directly above the hypocenter or focus, the point where an earthquake or underground explosion originates...

 was 36.50°N 105.70°E , in Haiyuan County, Ningxia Province, Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

. It was also called the 1920 Gansu earthquake because Ningxia was a part of Gansu Province when the earthquake occurred.

The earthquake hit at local time 20:06:53 (GMT 12:06:53), reportedly 7.8 on the Richter magnitude scale
Richter magnitude scale
The expression Richter magnitude scale refers to a number of ways to assign a single number to quantify the energy contained in an earthquake....

, followed by a series of aftershocks for three years. Today's Chinese media claim the earthquake as of magnitude 8.5, although the scale is not specified. It caused total destruction (XII - the maximum intensity on the Mercalli scale
Mercalli intensity scale
The Mercalli intensity scale is a seismic scale used for measuring the intensity of an earthquake. It measures the effects of an earthquake, and is distinct from the moment magnitude M_w usually reported for an earthquake , which is a measure of the energy released...

) in the Lijunbu-Haiyuan-Ganyanchi area.

Over 73,000 people were killed in Haiyuan County. A landslide buried the village of Sujiahe in Xiji County. More than 30,000 people were killed in Guyuan County. Nearly all the houses collapsed in the cities of Longde
Longde
Longde is the name of one of three scriptural divisions within Atiyoga, also known as Dzogchen or the Great Perfection which is itself the pinnacle of the ninefold division of practice according to the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.The name Longde is translated as 'Space Division' or 'Space...

 and Huining
Huining
Huining may refer to:*Huining County , county in Gansu, China*Huining Fu , former prefecture in the Shangjing region of Manchuria, location of the early capital of the Jin Dynasty*Huining, Xingtai County , town in Hebei, China...

. Damage (VI-X) occurred in 7 provinces and regions, including the major cities of Lanzhou
Lanzhou
Lanzhou is the capital and largest city of Gansu Province in Northwest China. A prefecture-level city, it is a key regional transportation hub, allowing areas further west to maintain railroad connections to the eastern half of the country....

, Taiyuan
Taiyuan
Taiyuan is the capital and largest city of Shanxi province in North China. At the 2010 census, it had a total population of 4,201,591 inhabitants on 6959 km² whom 3,212,500 are urban on 1,460 km². The name of the city literally means "Great Plains", referring to the location where the Fen River...

, Xi'an
Xi'an
Xi'an is the capital of the Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city in the People's Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty...

, Xining
Xining
Xining is the capital of Qinghai province, People's Republic of China, and the largest city on the Tibetan Plateau. It has 2,208,708 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 1,198,304 live in the built up area made of 4 urban districts.-History:...

 and Yinchuan. It was felt from the Yellow Sea
Yellow Sea
The Yellow Sea is the name given to the northern part of the East China Sea, which is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It is located between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula. Its name comes from the sand particles from Gobi Desert sand storms that turn the surface of the water golden...

 to Qinghai
Qinghai
Qinghai ; Oirat Mongolian: ; ; Salar:) is a province of the People's Republic of China, named after Qinghai Lake...

 (Tsinghai) Province and from Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia)
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

 south to central Sichuan Province.

About 200 km (125 mi) of surface faulting was seen from Lijunbu through Ganyanchi to Jingtai
Jingtai
Jingtai may refer to:*Jingtai County , Gansu, China*Jingtai Emperor , Chinese emperor of the Ming Dynasty*Jingtai Expressway , projected expressway which will, when completed, connect Beijing with Taipei...

. There were large numbers of landslides and ground cracks throughout the epicentral area. Some rivers were dam
Dam
A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are...

med, others changed course. Seiche
Seiche
A seiche is a standing wave in an enclosed or partially enclosed body of water. Seiches and seiche-related phenomena have been observed on lakes, reservoirs, swimming pools, bays, harbors and seas...

s from this earthquake were observed in 2 lakes and 3 fjords in western Norway.

Total casualty was reported as 200,000 in a summary published by the United States Geological Survey
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology,...

 (USGS), 240,000 according to Ningxia Daily, a Chinese publication in the current administrative area., and 235,502 according to the Catalog of Damaging Earthquakes in the World (Through 2008) maintained by the International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering.