A 5.5-magnitude shallow earthquake struck Dezhou City, Shandong Province, China, approximately 300 kilometers (185 miles) south of Beijing, on Sunday, August 6th.
The earthquake was followed up by another 3.0-magnitude tremor in the same area. According to reports, at least 21 people were injured and 126 houses collapsed. As of writing this , there have been no reports of deaths. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the earthquake as 5.4 magnitude.
The initial earthquake with a depth of 10 kilometers occurred in Pingyuan County, Dezhou City, at 2:33 a.m., and the subsequent 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred at 3:02 a.m., with a depth of 9 kilometers. As of 4:30 a.m., there have been 52 aftershocks, with the strongest measuring 3.0 magnitude.
Videos shared on social media showed significant ground shaking during the earthquake, causing indoor lights to swing dramatically and resulting in walls of many buildings being shattered, with bricks and tiles scattered everywhere. Residents of Dezhou City rushed outdoors in the dark, and the streets were filled with people trying to escape the quake.
Netizens on Weibo shared their experience saying that the shaking from the earthquake was very strong... “During the earthquake, my head trembled on the pillow, and I thought I was having a nightmare."
The earthquake relief command center in Shandong Province activated a Level 3 emergency response at 3:40 am and dispatched 19 personnel from the Shandong Provincial Emergency Management Department and Shandong Earthquake Administration to the scene. The Dezhou City Fire Rescue Brigade mobilized 7 fire rescue stations, 16 fire trucks, and 93 firefighters to be on standby in the affected area.
Liu Xiqiang, the Deputy Director of the Shandong Earthquake Administration, stated that there has been no historical record of earthquakes of this magnitude in Pingyuan County, Dezhou City. He also mentioned that within a 50-kilometer radius of the epicenter, there has been no history of earthquakes with a magnitude of 5 or higher. However, he expressed that the possibility of a larger earthquake occurring as an aftershock is minimal.
In response to the earthquake, China Railway Corporation suspended the operation of some trains on the Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Kowloon railways due to the impact. Additionally, gas services were shut down in some areas due to pipeline damages.
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