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M 7.8 - Wenchuan, China Earthquake
May 12, 2008



Much of the information presented here is sent in voluntarily and has not been reviewed by EERI's technical committees, therefore it does not necessarily reflect the views of EERI, the National Science Foundation or the authors' organizations.

The May 12, 2008 earthquake in China, known as the Sichuan or Wenchuan Earthquake, caused significant damage and many casualties. Since its occurrence, EERI, as well as the United States Geological Survey and other NEHRP agencies, have been exploring with Chinese authorities the possibilities for first hand field reconnaissance or collaborative research. A meeting was held in Beijing in early June to discuss the options further, primarily with the Chinese Earthquake Authority. EERI was represented at this meeting by Bill Holmes, chair of the Learning from Earthquakes Committee. Approval of an EERI Reconnaissance Team was not obtained at this meeting but is still under consideration. This file summarizes data collection options as well as other discussions held at the June meeting. As soon as EERI obtains definitive descriptions of approved reconnaissance activities, our plans will be posted on this website.

It has been reported to EERI by travelers that access restrictions in much of the damaged region have been inconsistent. Travel off the main roads in the non-mountainous area roughly bounded by the cities of Chengdu, Dujiangyan, and Mianyang and further north to Guangyuan has been allowed sporadically since the earthquake. Currently, international aid workers staying in Chengdu must show permits to leave the main roads in this area. Access into the near-fault mountainous regions has been consistently restricted.


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