Nearly 700 earthquakes and aftershocks have hit Yinjiang County in Yunnan Province starting Aug. 20, according to Xinhua News Agency. The first three ones were 5.0, 4.9 and 5.9 magnitudes and they killed five, injured 127 and collapsed 168,000 houses. Nearly 130,000 local residents were evacuated.
According to a provincial seismological official, Yinjiang sits along an earthquake-prone strip along the border with Burma, and the earthquakes are the strongest in the past century, or heavy shocks at a slightly active earthquake zone. As of Aug. 27 early morning, there had been nearly 700 aftershocks in this area, ten between magnitudes 3.0-3.9 and four between 4.0-4.9.
Then on Aug. 26, a bigger one hit Zhongba County in Xigaze Prefecture in Tibet. Fortunately, this 6.8 jolt didn’t cause any deaths, according to Xinhua, as this area is sparsely populated. But a provincial seismological official told the reporter over the phone that they found the epicenter of this quake, 30 km west of Longge’er Township and 5,200 m above sea level, where a 10-km-long crack of earth was discovered running north-south. And along 4.2 km of this “canyon” there was gushing sand and water.