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China invests in seismological study after major quakes

Updated: Sep 12,2017 4:18 PM     Xinhua

CHENGDU — Chinese science authorities will give special funding to support seismological research on plate tectonics in the country’s earthquake-prone areas.

At a meeting on quake prevention and disaster reduction on Sept 11, Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Earthquake Administration, said funding up to 30 million yuan ($4.6 million) a year would go to the research program in the next five years.

The program, in effect from this month, is jointly sponsored by the administration, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China National Natural Science Foundation.

Two strong earthquakes hit China in August, with one measuring magnitude 7 in Jiuzhaigou of Southwest China’s Sichuan province, and the other measuring magnitude 6.6 in Bortala Mongolian autonomous prefecture in Xinjiang.

The Jiuzhaigou quake left at least 24 people dead and 493 injured.

Seismologists believe that the epicenter of the quake was located near three fault zones, with frequent seismic activity making the area earthquake-prone. They attributed the quake to northward movement on the Indochina block.

Zheng said the in-depth seismological research program would help scientists understand the rhythm of seismic activities and carry out quake risk assessments.

The program also includes anti-seismic building construction and quake information services.

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