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Slide One
The Sichuan earthquake, also known as the Wenchuan Earthquake, occurred on the 12 May 2008 with a magnitude of 7.9 at 30.986 degrees North and 103.364 degrees East in Eastern Sichuan, which is 80 km from Chengdu. Sichuan ranks as the fifth largest province in terms of territorial size out of 23 Provinces and is surrounded by mountain ranges. The focus was 19 km underground with tremors recorded in Shanghai, Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand and was the strongest earthquake in 2008. The earthquake caused the 249 km Longmen Shan Fault to rupture, creating devastating consequences. It lasted for about 120 seconds with the first 80 seconds being the most severe. A total of 20,964 aftershocks were recorded by 30 July 2008 with the strongest aftershock a magnitude of 6.4 and with rain and adverse weather, there were 5,000 secondary geological disasters recorded, including landslides. Due to this disastrous earthquake, China, for the first time, requested outside assistance.
Slide Two
The hazards associated with earthquakes can be broken into primary and secondary hazards. The primary hazards include: ground shaking, landslides, liquefaction, collapsing buildings and surface rupture while the secondary hazards include tsunamis, seiche, flooding and fires.
Slide three
The earthquake occurred in an area that was deforming due to a 50-million-year collision between the convergent boundary of the Indian and Eurasian plate. It occurred along a thrust fault, called Longmenshan fault, where the stresses produced by the northward-moving India-Australian plate shifted a portion of the Plateau of Tibet eastward, causing a major thrust movement. The compressional forces brought on by this shift sheared the ground in two locations along the fault, thrusting the ground upward by approximately 9 metres in some places. However, there is a debate in the scientific community as to whether the large weight of water impounded by a reservoir situated near the epicentre of the earthquake could have helped trigger the temblor.
Slide four
Due to the heavy sediment on the mountains, which amplified and slowed the waves, the seismic wave from either the original wave or the aftershocks spent more time in an area, causing more destruction. As shown in the seismograph, the earthquake was the most devastating in the beginning, however, the S waves are supposed to be bigger than the P waves, which is not the case. This could be due that the sediment on the mountains affecting the seismic activity.
Slide five
In the Sichuan earthquake, almost 90,000 people were counted as dead, missing or presumed dead with 7% of the deaths being students in the final official Chinese government assessments. Nearly 375,000 people were injured by falling debris and building collapses and there were 87,000 fatalities. The Sichuan earthquake had the 7th highest death toll in the last 100 years worldwide. Due to the earthquake occurring in narrow mountain valleys, massive rockslides resulted in the blockage of major roads and blocking river flow, creating natural dams that could potentially overflow and lead to flooding.
Slide six
The Sichuan earthquake flattened 4/5 of the structures in the affected area with whole villages and towns in the mountains destroyed. More than 5 million rooms were destroyed, equivalent to about 1.5 million houses, and over 21 million rooms damaged, which is equivalent to 6 million houses. This is more than the number of houses in the entire country of Australia. It is believed that since the buildings were not properly reinforced will steel beams, the death toll was higher due to poorly built buildings falling on people, especially in the poorly built schools. It was recorded that 14,000 classrooms were damaged with over half of them collapsed completely with reports of schools away from the zone of total devastation collapsing while neighbouring buildings were relatively undamaged
Slide seven
In terms of economic loss, the Sichuan earthquake was the second highest in absolute numbers in history and had the highest homeless count in history of 4.8 million with some estimates reaching 10 million. The repair bill almost reached $150bn, equivalent to one fifth of China’s entire tax revenue for a single year. The Chinese government envisages to provide houses for the 3.9 million survivors, replace 169 hospitals and 4,432 primary and middle school, strengthen the 2,600 schools still standing, build houses for more than 3 million homeless rural families, build 860,000 apartments in the city, provide jobs for 1 million people and expand welfare programs to help the 1.4 million people driven to poverty.
However, the Sichuan earthquake also resulted in major health problems, both psychologically, socially and internally. Internally, the survivors faced renal problems, lower cognitive functions among babies in utero in the second or third trimester during the earthquake, and chronic disease with strokes and heart diseases among the top causes of deaths in the Sichuan Province in 2008. The 72,000-people recorded who were evacuated due to quake lakes and landslides created further problems associated with the displaced population, which affected them socially as relocation affects the livelihood and psychosocial recovery. Rural survivors separated from their neighbours and social networks usually move from their farmland to the city where they may be isolated with limited access to community facilities and support, including schools and job opportunities. Additionally, 18.8% of villagers who suffered from the Sichuan earthquake in northern China had PTSD in three months but increased to 24.2% by nine months, and as high as 49.6% of victims suffered from depression.

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