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International Conference for the Decade Memory of the Wenchuan Earthquake


Jul 12, 2018

The 4th International Conference on Continental Earthquakes organized by the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) was held from May 12-14, 2018 in Chengdu, Sichuan, China to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake.


“It has been 10 years since the great earthquake of Wenchuan, Sichuan, southwest China. The impact of that devastating event on either natural science or social sustainability was so important that a decade review will be of no doubt worth for further development,” said Prof. Guoguang Zheng, conference convener and Director of China Earthquake Administration.


In line with this, GEM’s Marco Pagani with CEA’s Prof. Mengtan Gao co-organized a session on the activities promoted by Global Earthquake Model. In this session, Anirudh Rao from the GEM Risk Team presented how the OpenQuake engine could be used to assess earthquake risk. Examples of annual average losses, exposure and vulnerability models were presented to emphasize the scientific features of the engine. Anirudh also emphasized the importance of open tools and open data being promoted by GEM. This conference had also been a venue to report the progress of GEM-CEA collaboration to implement China’s national earthquake hazard model on OpenQuake. The collaboration, which started in 2017 hopes to update China’s hazard model for better understanding of future earthquakes in the country. The GEM-CEA technical partnership aims to further fine tune the model for mitigation purposes. In one of the presentations, Professor Tso-Chien Pan from the Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management-NTU Singapore showed a case-study using OpenQuake to investigate the effects of high-resolution location-based exposure data on seismic risk estimates of urbanized regions in Southeast Asia.


About the Wenchuan earthquake


Sichuan earthquake of 2008, also called Wenchuan earthquake or Great Wenchuan Earthquake, Chinese Wenchuan dizhen or Wenchuan Da Dizhen, massive and enormously devastating earthquake that occurred in the mountainous central region of Sichuan province in southwestern China on May 12, 2008. The epicentre of the magnitude-7.9 quake (measured as magnitude 8.0 by the Chinese) was located near the city of Dujiangyan, about 50 miles (80 km) west-northwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital, at a depth of 11.8 miles (19 km) below the surface.


The May 2008 quake flattened some four-fifths of the structures in the affected area. Whole villages and towns in the mountains were destroyed, and many schools collapsed. Almost 90,000 people were counted as dead or missing and presumed dead in the final official Chinese government assessment; the officially reported total killed included more than 5,300 children, the bulk of them students attending classes.(source:

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