Wenchuan Earthquake Report

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On May 12, 2008, a disastrous earthquake, measuring at 8.0 Ms, occurred in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, China. The earthquake resulted from the collision between the Indo-Australian Plate and Eurasian Plate along the Longmenshan fault (Liu &Wang, 2013). As one of the most severe earthquakes happened in China, it caused a huge number of deaths and made millions of people become homeless (Zhang et al, 2012). A disaster is not only caused by the natural hazard, which is sometimes unavoidable, but also driven by the social, economic or political conditions of a society. Hence, in this essay, I am going to explore: what are the vulnerability and its causes in the Wenchuan earthquake? It would be very important to study because the severity …show more content…
And this has led to a great amount of casualties in the countryside and colossal economic toll on the whole society. The author has provided an example that in a small town named Yinghua in Sichuan Province, almost all the buildings there have been destructed in the earthquake (Wang, 2008). Moreover, the authors of the article ‘Analysis of the differentiation in human vulnerability to earthquake hazard between rural and urban areas’ also suggests that the damaged houses in the rural areas which have been affected in the Wenchuan and Ya’an earthquakes (an earthquake happened in Ya’an of Sichuan Province on April 20, 2013), were about 81.33% on average, however, only 18.67% of the buildings have collapsed in the urban affected areas in Wenchuan and Ya’an earthquakes on average, as reported by the CEA (Liu & Wang, …show more content…
However, a great number of transportation infrastructure was in ruins during Wenchuan earthquake. As stated in ‘Damages and Lessons from the Wenchuan Earthquake in China’, 22,000 km roadways have been damaged, 88,615 bridges and 2,900 tunnels have been collapsed in 39 counties of Sichuan Province in this massive earthquake (Hu, Ye & Zhai, 2011). The disability of transportation has increased the level of difficulty for the delivery of health services and relief supplies. In the article, ‘Seismic damage of highway bridges during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake’, the authors have investigated the highway bridges in 14 counties and cities for 46 days after the earthquake. According to their survey, among the main 320 bridges, 14% of them were extremely broken which led to the interruption of the traffic, 39% of the bridges were moderately broken that ‘traffic control was imposed’, and 47% of them were slightly damaged that normal traffic were kept (Han et al, 2009). The reason for the damage of these highway bridges was the current code of the bridge design was not able to withstand the earthquakes that severe as the Wenchuan one. The authors state in their article that, ‘according to the Chinese Specification of Earthquake Resistant Design for Highway Engineering (MCPRC, 1990), for a highway bridge designed to withstand the maximum earthquake of IX, the basic design

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