Multiple earthquakes, with the strongest two measuring 5.7 and 5.6 on the Richter scale, struck the mountainous rural regions of Yunnan and Guizhou, in the Yiliang and Weining counties in southwest China on Friday 7 September 2012, killing at least 80 people and injuring more than 160 others. As a result of the earthquakes in this mountainous area, landslides have also been experienced. The most serious damage was in Yiliang county, where the majority of the fatalities occurred. An estimated 100,000 people have been evacuated and approximately 20,000 houses were destroyed. The mountainous terrain in the region is making relief efforts to remote locations difficult.
UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER immediately activated its network to task high resolution satellite imagery of the regions affected by the earthquakes via the Cartosat-1 satellite of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and via DigitalGlobe. DigitalGlobe provided UN-SPIDER with a DigitalGlobe Cloud Services (DGCS) evaluation account. A total of 56 scenes to assess earthquake impact on day 1 and 2 after the event were provided to China via UN-SPIDER's ftp server. 12 of them are pre-disaster images and 44 post-disaster images.
Furthermore, the International Charter Space and Major Disasters was activated on Friday 7 September 2012 for the region of Yunnan Province and Weining County, Guizhou Province. The Charter was activated by the National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC).