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Coal mining collapse causes Yulin earthquakes

(Global Times)

08:21, December 09, 2011

A mine in Yuyang district in Yulin, Shaanxi Province has collapsed on Wednesday, causing earthquakes in the surrounding area, a local newspaper named Yang Guang reported on Thursday.

Statistics from the Shaanxi earthquake information network show that two deeply sunken earthquakes shook Yulin at 16:11 and 16:16 on December 7. The focal depth was about 7,000 meters. The collapsed mining area belongs to the Changxing coalmine..

Cracks now crisscross the earthquake region. The widest point is 15 cm. The Dongfeng and Changxing coalmines lie around 100 to 150 meters below the cracks, a local villager said.

Another villager surnamed Yao said that houses and the ground were badly shaken by the earthquake.

"The earthquake shook clods of earth down from the slopes. I was sitting indoors and suddenly heard a loud noise, just like a bulldozer knocking over the walls, at the same time, the house was shaking, "an old woman said, pointing at the fallen slabs in her courtyard.

Chen Xionglong, director of the Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia Bureau of Water and Soil Conservation Authority, said the coal subsidence area has largely formed due to the over-exploitation in northern Shanxi Province. The earthquake were of less than 4.0 magnitude. "It is not really an earthquake, but is a collapse of the mining area, which creates the illusion of an earthquake," he added.

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