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China starts construction of quake early warning projects

Updated: Aug 21,2015 7:52 AM     Xinhua

CHENGDU — China Earthquake Administration (CEA) announced Aug 20 the construction of earthquake early warning systems and seismic intensity rapid reporting.

The projects include building and improving more than 5,000 seismic stations, establishing a national center of early warning and reporting, and 31 local branches, according to the Sichuan Provincial Earthquake Administration.

As a seismically active province, Sichuan will be in charge of 471 stations, the Sichuan Provincial Earthquake Administration said.

The projects report the intensity of earthquakes with magnitude 5 or higher in two to five minutes after the quake; spatial distribution of the seismic intensity will be mapped within 15 minutes; the affected area, conditions of casualties, and direct economic losses will be determined 30 minutes after the quake occurs.

When the earthquake of magnitude 5.5 or higher happens, and the seismic intensity of the quake is higher than six degrees, the early warning service will be activated.

These projects will significantly increase the density of seismic stations across the province and improve earthquake monitoring.

The rapid reporting system will help identify the worst-hit area and the effects of disaster, supporting rescue and relief work.

The early warning system will help people take emergency measures to escape and inform those large projects such as reservoirs, high-speed railways, and nuclear power stations to launch emergency response plans.