China - Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2003/0036
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
China - Earthquake
24 February 2003

This situation report is based on information provided by the Government of China through the UN Resident Coordinator in China as well as media reports.

Event and Impact

1. A strong earthquake struck the western part of Xinjiang region, China, at 10:03 hours, local time, on Monday 24 February 2003 (02:03 UTC, on 24 February). According to the Swiss Seismological Service, the magnitude is 6.3 on the Richter scale, while the Chinese government and media reports indicate that it is 6.8. The epicentre is located at 39.6 degrees north and 77.1 degrees east; 40 km to the east of Jiashi County Town, Kashi Prefecture in Xinjiang Region. Strong shakes were also felt in Aksu Prefecture and Kezilesuekezi Autonomous Prefecture.

2. The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs indicated that as of 13:00 hours (local time) today, 95 people were killed and more than 300 injured. According to media reports, more than 1,000 houses and schools collapsed in a village in Bachu County.


3. The Government has already dispatched its own assessment team to the disaster site.

4. OCHA has not received any request for international assistance.

5. OCHA is in close contact with the UN Resident Coodinator in China through its regional disaster response advisor and will prepare a second Situation Report on this disaster as soon as more information becomes available.

6. This situation report, together with information on other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 1234
Fax: +41-22-917 0023

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 2010

Desk Officers:
Mr. R. Mueller / Ms. S. Desouza / Mr. S. Nakajima
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 3131 / 1636 / 403440 34

Press contact:
(in GVA) - Ms Madeleine Moulin Acevedo, direct Tel. +41-22-917 3160
(in N.Y.) - Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-212-963 87 40


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit