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A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the city of Tangshan, Hebei Province in July 1976

2023-04-06  |   Editor : houguangbing  

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.

Tangshan earthquake
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