An­ti­seis­mic build­ing, lo­cat­ing faults re­duce dam­age, deaths

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By HOU LIQIANG houliqiang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China has been pro­mot­ing con­struc­tion of an­ti­seis­mic build­ings and work­ing to lo­cate the scope of ac­tive faults, where earth­quake de­struc­tion can be greater, to re­duce the po­ten­tial dam­age, a se­nior of­fi­cial said.

The coun­try had built about 24 mil­lion an­ti­seis­mic houses in ru­ral ar­eas, ac­count­ing for about 10 per­cent of ru­ral dwellings, by the end of 2017, ben­e­fit­ing 68 mil­lion ru­ral res­i­dents, said Zheng Guoguang, vice-min­is­ter of emer­gency man­age­ment and head of the China Earth­quake Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Zheng said all houses in ru­ral ar­eas of the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion are now of the an­ti­seis­mic type. The project’s re­sults have been so good that mag­ni­tude-5 tremors have re­sulted in no in­juries to ru­ral res­i­dents and mag­ni­tude-6 quakes have caused no deaths, as shown in re­cent quakes.

No deaths were recorded among peo­ple in an­ti­seis­mic houses built un­der the project in the mag­ni­tude-7 jolt in Ji­uzhaigou, Sichuan prov­ince, in Au­gust of last year, he said.

The project was put into ac­tion in 2006 af­ter the State Coun­cil pub­lished a guide­line on build­ing an­ti­seis­mic houses.

Af­ter the dev­as­tat­ing mag­ni­tude-8 earth­quake in 2008 in Wenchuan, Sichuan, the cen­tral govern­ment also ini­ti­ated a project to re­in­force schools or move them out of fault zones.

By in­vest­ing 300 bil­lion yuan ($43.3 bil­lion), the govern­ment in­spected more than 2 mil­lion build­ings in 375,000 schools and re­in­forced a to­tal floor area of 350 mil­lion square me­ters, he said.

Earth­quake-re­sis­tance stan­dards for any new or ren­o­vated school across the coun­try need to be at least one level higher than lo­cal re­quire­ments, he added.

The coun­try has de­ter­mined the ex­act lo­ca­tion of 113 of the coun­try’s to­tal 495 ac­tive faults. The ad­min­is­tra­tion is ne­go­ti­at­ing for a spe­cial govern­ment fund to sup­port the lo­ca­tion work, he said. Ac­tive faults are those where move­ment has been ob­served or seis­mic ac­tiv­ity recorded in the past 10,000 years.

China has pro­moted seis­mic iso­la­tion tech­niques that have been used in 8,000 build­ings. In Kun­ming Chang­shui In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Yun­nan prov­ince, the rub­ber mats un­der each of 1,800 con­crete pil­lars would greatly help re­duce a quake’s im­pact, he said.

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