China more prepared for quakes since 2008 Wenchuan disaster

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/12 0:28:39

China's technologies and experience in earthquake preparedness and disaster mitigation have achieved qualitative results in the decade that followed the powerful earthquake in Wenchuan, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, experts said.

"After the huge disaster in 2008, the government increased input to improve China's capability in earthquake preparedness, and we have entered in a series of cooperation deals with countries like Japan which have deep experience in earthquake preparedness," said Zhang Dongning, deputy dean of the Institute of Geophysics at the China Earthquake Administration (CEA).

"For instance, we are able to detect seismic waves and calculate the impact through an earthquake early warning system or satellites, and then we order facilities like railway systems and nuclear power stations to stop their operations to reduce the damage," Zhang said.

After the 8.0-magnitude Wenchuan earthquake, China also experienced many earthquakes of different magnitudes, including some 7.0-magnitude earthquakes, such as the 2010 Yushu earthquake in Qinghai Province and the 2013 Lushan earthquake in Sichuan Province.

"Many residential buildings in rural areas were not prepared for earthquakes. After 2008, the CEA began a project to improve this, which has been effective, with casualties in many rural areas largely reduced," Zhang said.

"Be they government or non-government rescue teams, they are all becoming very professional. Now we can also join overseas UN missions," said Zhang Yong, the head of the Blue Sky Rescue Team, China's biggest non-profit civil rescue organization.

Global Times


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