A magnitude 7 earthquake struck Jiuzhaigou county in Sichuan Province on August 8, killing at least 25 people and injuring more than 500, according to the provincial government.
Officials said that the earthquake affected more than 176,000 people and damaged some 73,000 buildings, destroying 76. Jiuzhaigou National Park, a popular tourist site, was seriously damaged in the quake. A mudslide destroyed large sections of the picturesque Nuorilang Waterfall, and the jade-colored Sparkling Lake was polluted by dirt and runoff.
Experts said this year’s earthquake happened on the same plate as the catastrophic 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, also in Sichuan, though not on the same fault line. Media reports said a warning system set up jointly by the earthquake-prevention bureaus of Chengdu and Aba managed to alert population centers in the area, greatly reducing the possible death toll.