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Thursday, 15th May 2008

The 12 May Earthquake

The powerful earthquake in Sichuan on 12 May was felt in Hong Kong, some 1450 kilometres away. According to our records, no previous earthquakes felt in Hong Kong had an epicentre more distant than this one.

The epicentre of the initial great shock was located near Dujiangyan City and Wolong. In the last couple of days, aftershocks continued and their epicentres tended to be located to the north-east of this initial location. Some of them were getting close to the border between Sichuan and Gansu. The details are given in the latest press releases issued by the Hong Kong Observatory as well as the dedicated webpage.

Weather forecasts are very important to the rescue operation. The earthquake took place at 2:28 p.m. The China Meteorological Administration issued its first special meteorological bulletin for the disaster area at 3:00 p.m. This was an incredibly fast response, which reflected how much weather forecasters cared about the people, how effective their professional operation was and how well-prepared they were.

Hong Kong Observatory colleagues send our salutes to our meteorological counterparts in the mainland. At the same time, we remind ourselves that we too have to plan well ahead so that science could be applied effectively to save lives in the face of natural hazards. This is what motivates us at the Observatory to work hard all the time.

We feel very sorry for those who lost their lives. We sincerely hope that rescue would reach those in need soon and that life would resume normal before long.

CY Lam

Last revision date: <17 Jan 2013>