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April 2, 2012

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Home » Metro » Environment

City bureau says don't worry

SHANGHAI experts say there's no cause for concern if, as Japanese experts seemed to be predicting, there is a huge earthquake off the coast of Japan and a subsequent tsunami.

The city's seismological bureau said the area in question suffered from frequent earthquakes and the forecast was just a theory based on Japanese experts' long-term research.

Any effect on Shanghai would be minimal, they said.

Lu Hengjian, a researcher at the Shanghai bureau, said a major 8-magnitude earthquake took place in the area every 100 to 150 years.

Records showed that there was an 8.4-magnitude earthquake in 1854, triggering a tsunami that flooded some coastal regions in Zhejiang and Jiangsu, Shanghai's neighboring provinces. Shanghai felt the tsunami, but the waves were only a meter high when they reached shore and there was no record of serious damage.

According to he bureau, Shanghai's coastal seawall and the banks of the Yangtze River have been reinforced to survive major flooding that may take place once in every 100 to 200 years. And the banks of the Huangpu River have been strengthened to survive floods that might occur once in every 1,000 years. Shanghai is also protected by its long continental shelf.

Japanese experts said that in the event of a 9-magnitude quake, the resulting tsunami would have waves of just one or two meters in height when they reached the Ryukyu Islands off the country's south coast. The effect on China's coast, therefore, would be very small.

Seeking to allay fears further, Shanghai experts said that the Japanese forecast was only based on a prediction of what might happen if there was an earthquake off Japan and was not a prediction that such an event would actually occur.


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