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Shenzhen to invest $3m in quake monitoring
Latest Updated by 2006-09-20 11:51:45
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Shenzhen to invest $3m in quake monitoring

The Shenzhen Municipal Government will invest over 24 million yuan (US$3 million) in earthquake monitoring this year, enabling the city to detect earthquakes as weak as 1.5 on the Richter scale, local seismic bureau confirmed yesterday.

Yan Yuanlin, vice director of the bureau, said on a call-in radio program Monday that the investment included 7 million yuan allocated last month to assess the capability of the city's major constructions and lifeline systems to withstand earthquakes, and a 10 million yuan investment for five observation stations and two seismic forecast points.

The other 7 million yuan will be used to hire professional institutes to assess the city's geological status, especially distributed faults. Yan said the contract had been signed in August.

Yan also revealed that the city is planning to build large earthquake shelters at major parks and plazas in the coming four years.

Rescue teams with firemen and local volunteers will be responsible for evacuating people and ensuring transportation when a major earthquake occurs.

However, Zhou Congxue, a spokesman from the bureau, said the above-mentioned measures were not related to the probability of an intense earthquake.

"All these are planned in advance and mentioned in the city's 11th five-year development program," he said.

Yang Yueming, vice director of the local seismic station, also confirmed the city is unlikely to be rattled by major earthquakes in the foreseeable future.

Shenzhen has not experienced any major earthquakes in recorded history. An earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale in 1918 in Shantou City, 450 kilometers from Shenzhen, affected Futian District only.

According to the local seismic bureau, the two newly built seismic forecast points at the Shenzhen Safari Park and Guangming farm enable the bureau to monitor earthquake portents through animals.

The planned five other earthquake-monitoring stations, located at Meilin, Shekou, Shiyan, Dapeng and Pingdi, began construction in June and will be ready by December.

"The new station will help Shenzheners locate earthquakes quicker and more accurately," said Zhou Congxue, an official with the municipal disaster-prevention bureau.

Shenzhen recently witnessed two minor earthquakes in four days, with epicenters located in Zhanjiang City and the sea area connecting the mouth of the Pearl River, which happened late Thursday and early Sunday respectively.

There were no reports of injuries or damage in the city after the two quakes.

All buildings in the city constructed after 1990 can withstand an earthquake of magnitude 5 on the Richter scale. Diwang Mansion can resist a magnitude 6 earthquake and the Daya Bay nuclear power plant can resist a magnitude 7 seism.

Editor: Yan

By: Tan Xiaomi Source: Szdaily web edition
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