Aftermath, Earthquake in Qinghai China

From BBC:

Some 400 people have died and thousands are feared injured after a magnitude-6.9 quake hit western China's Qinghai province, officials say. The powerful tremor struck remote Yushu county, 800km (500 miles) south-west of the provincial capital Xining, at 0749 (2349 GMT), at a shallow depth of 10km.

Most of the buildings in the worst-hit town of Jiegu were wrecked, and landslides have cut off roads. Police said hundreds of survivors had already been pulled from the rubble. And at least one aid flight had been able to land at the local airport, according to officials. Senior Yushu official Huang Liming announced the latest death toll of 400, as the extent of the damage became clearer.

The earthquake struck just before 0800 local time - when many people were still at home. It was followed by three aftershocks. (The GCP event could not begin at that time because of a conflict, so the event looks at the aftermath beginning 13 hours after the main temblor.)

Some media reports say most buildings in the town near the epicentre fell down. Grainy pictures on Chinese television showed rescuers pulling at the rubble of one collapsed structure. Soldiers have been sent to the area to help with the rescue.

The earthquake happened in a remote and sparsely populated area on the Tibetan plateau. The area is regularly hit by earthquakes. State broadcaster CCTV reports that at least 10,000 people are injured. A local official in Jiegu told the BBC that almost all of the buildings in the town had been destroyed. "The death toll will definitely go up," he said.

The GCP event was set under some constraint because there was already a pre-set event for the 14th April for the Kumbh Mela in India, for the time 00:00 to 13:00 UTC. Since the assumptions of independence for our statistics do not permit redundancy or overlap, we could only examine an aftermath period. The China quake event was thus set for the period 13:00 to 24:00 UTC. (Ordinarily we would have a prediction that includes the main temblor and an hour or so preceding it, but that period is literally redundant with the Kumbh Mela.)

The result is Chisquare 40032.854 on 39600 df, for p = 0.062 and Z=1.535. This is for a period of time beginning half a day after the main temblor. The main temblor occurred at a minute before 8:00, putting it at the very beginning of the UTC day. If we look at the whole UTC day, the Z-score is well over 2.0. We can only speculate whether the two global events, this earthquake and the huge religious gathering of millions in Haridwar, India had a complementary effect. In addition to these focused events, this time is associated with yet another potentially effective global event, namely, the Iceland volcano eruption which resulted in several days of worldwide attention to the disruptive shutdown of air travel in the UK and parts of Europe. For a look at this, we show an exploration of the Icelandic Volcano Dust Cloud effect.

Earthquake in
Qinghai China

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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