Qinglong County Case Study

20 Years Later
Lessons Learned

The magnitude 7.8 Great Tangshan Earthquake (GTE) occurred under the city of Tangshan, China, on July 28, 1976. When the dust settled, a quarter of a million people had died, and only a small handful of buildings were left standing. Emerging from this tragedy is a public administration best practice: public administrators of Qinglong County integrated scientific knowledge and monitoring by lay public, and prepared for the Great Tangshan Earthquake. Although 180,000 buildings in the county were destroyed, not one life was lost in the county due to the devastation (one person had a heart attack) while over 240,000 people died in surrounding areas. 

The UN Global Programme for the Integration of Public Administration and the Science of Disasters conducted a detailed study of Qinglong County between 1995-1996. This is Qinglong County's remarkable story.