Dams and Earthquakes

China to map active faults following a string of quakes in Asia

(March 25, 2011) The Chinese government will launch a campaign to map the country’s active fault lines in the wake of strong earthquakes in Japan and Myanmar.

Earthquakes predominately occur in areas on or near active faults which in China can run tens to thousands of kilometers in length.

The detection work will be finished by 2020, Ran Yongkang, a senior research fellow with the Institute of Geology under the China Earthquake Administration (CEA), told Xinhua Friday.

Ran said that a separate and smaller-scale active fault detection campaign had started in China’s major cities including Beijing and Shanghai in 2004.

According to Ran, urban construction should avoid active faults. In Yinchuan, capital of the northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, warning signs have been set up near active faults and buildings within close proximity of the faults would be forced to relocate.

Also on Friday, Gao Mengtan, with the CEA Institute of Geophysics, said the country is working on a new seismic zoning map, which marks regions in terms of their quake risk. The map will be finished this year.

Based on the new map, the government will release specific “counter-seismic” requirements for buildings and facilities across the country, Gao said.

English.news.cn, March 25, 2011

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