China Daily:Official says earthquake reports were issued faster, more accurately in 2019
A road is damaged by fallen rocks after an earthquake hits Zizhong county of Neijiang city in Sichuan province, Dec 18, 2019. [Photo/chinanews.com]
China was quicker and more accurate when issuing earthquake reports in 2019, a senior emergency management official said.
On average, it took 9 minutes and 32 seconds for the administration to issue official earthquake information last year, 88 seconds faster than the previous year, Zheng Guoguang, head of the administration, told his colleagues at an annual work conference on Tuesday.
As for automatic issuing of the information, it took an average of 1 minute and 51 seconds, 22 seconds less than in 2018. The administration also managed to make reports of magnitude 22 percent more accurate, added Zheng, who is also vice-minister of emergency management.
In addition to improving its capabilities, the China Earthquake Administration will also continue to enhance earthquake monitoring and rescue capabilities in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
However, Zheng noted the uneven distribution of the country's earthquake monitoring stations.
Currently, there are fewer monitoring stations in western parts of the country, which are prone to tremors. Many monitoring stations have not been well maintained or calibrated since they were installed, and almost half the devices in use have been in operation for over 10 years, he added.
He vowed to roll out a national plan for station construction and upgrading.
"We have drafted a plan in accordance with locations of seismic zones and hope to distribute monitoring stations more properly," he said, adding that 100 stations across the country had been upgraded according to national standards in 2019.
According to the administration, it has selected construction sites for 72 monitoring stations in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and completed the construction of 11 test stations in extremely cold areas of high altitude in 2019.
Zheng said the administration has helped Nepal and Laos each build up a network of monitoring stations, and it will help more countries, including Myanmar and Bangladesh, with network construction, he said.
He also said an international training center is expected to be completed this year in Xinjiang to help central Asian countries enhance their rescue capabilities.
China was stricken by 30 earthquakes above magnitude 5 last year, claiming 19 lives and injuring more than 400. Twenty of the tremors occurred in the mainland region, four less than the yearly average, according to the administration.
In Southwest China's quake-prone region, five earthquakes of magnitude 5 and one of magnitude 6 occurred in Sichuan province past year, but no earthquakes of such levels took place in Yunnan, which has not seen earthquakes above magnitude 6 since 2014.