On July 28, 1976, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck
the city of Tangshan, Hebei Province. The epicenter
of the quake was located in downtown Tangshan and this was
a unusual urban earthquake. The metropolis collapsed all
at once, people’s life and property and state property suffered
heavy losses. Beijing and Tianjin were severely affected.
The earthquake damage covers more than 30,000 square kilometers
and has a range of 14 provinces （autonomous regions and
municipalities directly under the central government）;
which is about a third of the total area of the country.
About 80 percent of the people in the city were buried
under rubble because of the quake struck at late night.
The earthquake zone includes 47 square kilometers on
both sides of the Beijing-Tianshan railway and all the
buildings in the area were almost gone.
A ground fissure with a length of 8 km and a width of
30 meters transected the wall, the houses, roads and canals.
The earthquake zone and its surrounding areas have a large number of
fissures, water sprays, blowout, gravity collapse, rolling stone,
slope collapse, ground slide, ground subsidence, karst cave
subsidence, and the collapse of goaf. A total of 240,000 people
died in the earthquake. The destruction of public housing was
14.79 million square meters, and 5.3 million houses collapsed.
Direct economic losses reached 13.2 billion yuan.
The city’s water supply, power supply, communication, transportation
and other lifeline projects were all destroyed, all industrial
and mining operations were shut down, and all hospitals and medical
facilities were destroyed. Seven passenger vans and oil tankers were
derailed during the earthquake. Two large road Bridges on the Ji canal
and the Li River have collapsed, cutting off the highway traffic
between Tangshan and Tianjin and outside Shanhai Pass.
Urban water supply pipe network, water plant construction and
water well damaged seriously. The ground buildings and structures
in the painted coal mine collapsed or were badly damaged.
Underground production was disrupted and nearly 10,000 workers were
trapped underground. Tangshan iron and steel company destroyed
seriously, forced to stop its production so molten steel
and molten iron maintained in the furnace.
The dam of three large reservoirs, two medium-sized reservoirs
and 240 small reservoirs cracked and were damaged. 60 thousand
mechanical well silted and 67% of the well pipe broke.
More than 33,000 hectares of tillage were buried by sand and
47,000 hectares of tillage were buried by salt water. More than
55,000 agricultural machines were damaged. About 36,000 big domestic
animals and 442,000 pigs were killed by heavy object because of the earthquake.