Prof. CUI Peng Provided Preliminary Hazard Evaluation Report of Jiuzhaigou Earthquake

On August 8th, a Ms 7.0 earthquake struck Jiuzhaigou County, Ngawa Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China. The Epicenter of this earthquake is only 5 km west of a world-famous scenery site, Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 and was mostly suffered from this earthquake. The official record showed that a week before this earthquake,the daily tourists visiting of this nature reserve was between 30,000 to 40,000. Till the end of August, this earthquake had caused 25 casualties and over 500 injures.

In order to provide effective scientific support to facilitate the assessment on post-seismic hazards and subsequent hazard relief, from 12th to 13th of August, Prof. Peng CUI Peng (IRDR Scientific Committee member) had led his team of experts working at Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve to assess current hazard condition, to identify potential post-seismic hazard locations and provide preliminary hazard evaluation report.

Prof. Cui was briefed on the current seismic hazard condition and requirements on hazard mitigation by Jiuzhaigou Earthquake Emergency Command Center and the Administration of Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve immediately after his arrival. By evaluating the information gathered, he and his team managed to deliver the “The technical requirements of environmental impact assessment of post-seismic mountain disasters” which was tailored to Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve based on its geological setting and ready-in-place hazard control system. This technical requirement provided an essential guild line to the hazard evaluation and subsequent hazard mitigation.

After delivered the theoretical guild line, on 13th August, Prof. Cui led his team started to carry out field investigation at those most affected sites at Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve such as Huohuahai outburst lake, Zarugou Debris flow, Heyegou landslide, Shuzhenggou Debris flow, Nuorilang Waterfall breach. Such field work allowed Prof Cui and his team to analyze the possible evolvement pattern of post-seismic hazard and their potential damage to the facilities at Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve. The recovery works and strategies of post-seismic hazards control at Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve were discussed at the end of the field works.

By analyzing the latest satellite image and combining with the results of field investigation, Prof. Cui and his team outlined the focus of the work at next stage which provided the scientific support and guild line to hazards assessment and post-seismic hazards identification. The comprehensive work by Prof. Cui and his team allowed him to deliver a proposal of future restoration strategies of Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve to the local government.

Photo 1. Briefing and meeting with local authorities

Photo 2. Field works at Heyegou landslide

Photo 3. Discussion at Zarugou debris flow

Photo 4. Examination of existing hazard control system

Photo 5. Damaged Scenery Site