The 12 May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake was a major earthquake with a magnitude of MW 7.9, a shallow focal depth (~19 km, USGS) and a rupture length of 270km. The epicentre of the earthquake was located in Sichuan Province, 80km WNW of Chengdu, a city with a population of more than 10million (USGS). The earthquake intensity is reported to have reached XI (in the Wenchuan area). 69,185 people died in the event, over 374,000 people were injured and 5 million are reported to be homeless, (figures correct as of 27th June). The total economic loss is estimated at US$20.0billion.
Following the event, the authors participated in the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT, part of the UK Institution of Structural Engineers) field mission. The authors, a team of seismologists, earthquake engineering and geotechnical specialists, spent 7 days in the field surveying the damage to buildings, lifelines and observing geotechnical failures. This preliminary report presents a summary of the team’s observations and provides some preliminary recommendations for consideration during the reconstruction of the region.
information pertaining to earth sciences. Examples: geophysical features and processes, geology, minerals, sciences dealing with the composition, structure and origin of the earth s rocks, risks of earthquakes, volcanic activity, landslides, gravity information, soils, permafrost, hydrogeology, erosion