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Satellite Images Capture Earthquake Destruction in Yushu, China

Satellite images captured the damage of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that hit Yushu, China last week. The quake struck the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu Wednesday and has left 12,135 injured, of whom 1,434 are in serious condition.

The death toll has climbed to 2,039 from the earthquake in northwest China’s Qinghai Province, with 195 people still missing, according to the rescue headquarters.

satellite yushu china earthquake

Image copyright © DigitalGlobe – All rights reserved.

GeoEye-1 (0.5m) satellite image above of Yushu, China, was taken one day after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck the area April 14,2010. Although high-rise buildings appear to be standing, likely due to modern construction standards, there is extensive destruction to smaller structures in the lower left quadrant of the image. These smaller dwellings have been largely reduced to rubble. Vehicles crowd the main street near the town square along the river where people have gathered and temporary structures have been erected. Bridges appear to be intact but could be damaged. The satellite image was taken by the GeoEye-1 satellite sensor from 423 miles in space on April 15, 2010 as it moved from north to south over China at a speed of four miles per second.

satellite photo yushu China earthquake

Yushu, China

Pre Earthquake1
QuickBird (0.61m) Satellite Image Collected November 6, 2004

Image copyright © DigitalGlobe – All rights reserved.

satellite image Yushu China earthquake post

Yushu, China

Post Earthquake
QuickBird (0.61m) Satellite Image Collected April 15, 2010

Image copyright © DigitalGlobe – All rights reserved.

In Gyegu, thousands of wood-earth buildings collapsed and many larger structured were heavily damaged or destroyed. At an elevation of 3,700m (12,000 ft) and connected by few roads, most of which were damaged in the quake, is difficult to reach for the response teams.

Rescuers continue to search for survivors as homeless residents work to recover what they can and set up shelter from the freezing overnight temperatures.

 

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