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On the 22nd of January 2024 at 18:09:05 UTC, a M7.0 earthquake occurred in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang, near the borders with Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, at a depth of 9 km (see map below). A series of aftershocks up to magnitude M5.5 have also occurred. As many as 50 buildings have collapsed as a result of the earthquake, with dozens of injuries reported in the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. No fatalities have been reported at the time of writing.
Large magnitude earthquakes (greater than M6.0) occur regularly in China, of which the largest in modern history occurred the central Chinese province of Sichaun in May 2008, causing 90,000 fatalities and several hundred thousand injuries.
The event was recorded by seismic stations operated by DIAS in the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN), see figure below.
On the 18th of December 2023 at 15:59:30 UTC a M5.9 earthquake occurred in north-central China at a depth of 10km. The map below shows the earthquake epicentre (marked with a red circle). Over 100 deaths have been reported with rescue efforts ongoing.
The earthquake struck in the Gansu-Qinghai border region which is in north-central China. The Gansu province is within an intraplate region, but situated on the north-eastern margin of the tectonically active Tibetan Plateau. Seismicity in the Tibetan Plateau largely results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates. Within 250 km of the Gansu province event, there have been 23 M5.5 and larger earthquakes since 1900. The largest of these was a M7.7 earthquake that occurred in May 1927 which resulted in approximately 40,000 fatalities.
Further information can be obtained at the following links: