Re­gion at risk gets early warn­ing sys­tem

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By HUANG ZHILING in Chengdu huangzhiling@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

A na­tional pro­ject to build early warn­ing sys­tems for earth­quakes and rapid re­port­ing of quake in­ten­sity will in­stall equip­ment at Sichuan pro­vin­cial earth­quake bureau, which is at the cen­ter of re­gional seis­mic ac­tiv­ity.

The pro­ject to cover the so-called north-south seis­mic belt, the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, north­ern China and the south­east­ern coastal re­gion should be com­pleted in about five years.

The China Earth­quake Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced on Thurs­day that the na­tional pro­ject had been ap­proved by the State Coun­cil in June.

A real-time sys­tem pro­vid­ing warn­ings sec­onds af­ter an earth­quake can save lives be­cause the warn­ings are trans­mit­ted via ra­dio waves trav­el­ing much faster than seis­mic waves through the ground.

The north-south seis­mic belt passes east of Gansu province and west of Sichuan and Yun­nan prov­inces. Cov­er­age of the Sichuan re­gion is im­por­tant to the na­tional pro­ject.

The Sichuan Earth­quake Bureau will be able to re­port the in­ten­sity of an earth­quake of mag­ni­tude-5 or above within two to five min­utes, once the pro­ject is com­pleted. It also will be able to send early warn­ings for quakes reg­is­ter­ing mag­ni­tudeor above.

When the mag­ni­tude-8 Wenchuan earth­quake oc­curred in Sichuan on May 12, 2008, the Sichuan Earth­quake

China started de­vel­op­ing the early warn­ing and quake in­ten­sity re­port­ing sys­tems af­ter theWenchuan earth­quake.”

Chen Huizhong, a re­searcher with the In­sti­tute of Geo­physics of the China Earth­quake Ad­min­is­tra­tion

Bureau could not re­port its in­ten­sity that day. When the mag­ni­tude-7 Lushan earth­quake jolted Sichuan on April 20, 2013, the bureau re­ported the in­ten­sity two hours later. When the mag­ni­tude-6.3 earth­quake hap­pened in Kangding, Sichuan, on Novem­ber 22 last year, the bureau could re­port the in­ten­sity a half-hour later.

“China started de­vel­op­ing the early warn­ing and quake in­ten­sity re­port­ing sys­tems af­ter the Wenchuan earth­quake,” said ChenHuizhong, a se­nior re­search fel­low with the In­sti­tute of Geo­physics of the China Earth­quake Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Af­ter the Wenchuan quake, Wang Tun, a post­doc­toral fel­low of the­o­ret­i­cal physics at the Aus­trian Academy of Sciences, set up his pri­vate In­sti­tute of Care-Life in Chengdu, Sichuan, to con­duct re­search into early warn­ing sys­tems.

Since 2013, it has cor­rectly sent early warn­ings af­ter 28 earth­quakes above mag­ni­tude

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