The story appears on

Page A2

April 4, 2012

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Environment

City shakes and booms as quake, thunder strike

A 1.2-magnitude earthquake hit Shanghai Monday night just as a brief thunderstorm struck, causing no casualties but raising public concern online because of the coincidental timing.

It also happened to occur a day after the local seismological bureau had dismissed any possibility that Shanghai might suffer serious damages should another major tsunami be unleashed by a powerful earthquake off Japan.

A prediction by a Japanese government-commissioned panel of another big Japan earthquake had made headlines in local media, with locals fearing the predicted 34-meter-high tsunami waves, caused by a potential 9.0-magnitude earthquake near the Japanese coast, would inundate Shanghai.

Just as locals breathed a sigh of relief reading a no-worry clarification from the seismological authority, many were surprised Monday night to feel several seconds of strong building shaking from the local earthquake.

The city's seismological bureau said the 1.2-magnitude quake took place at 11:27pm, with the epicenter in Minhang District at a depth of just 10 kilometers.

Given its shallow depth, the slight-magnitude quake was still obvious enough to be felt by many locals, seismological officials said.

"Did I just feel an earthquake? Who else felt the same?" read a post, and many like it, sweeping through, a twitter-like social-networking platform, minutes after the quake. Curious netizens discussed the scope of affected areas by reporting where they felt it.

Since the quake hit amid a heavy thunderstorm and gales, many tried to comfort others online by suggesting the quake was really just a powerful thunderbolt.

Seismological officials said yesterday that quakes of such magnitude occur about five times a year in Shanghai and are caused by routine movements of the Earth's crust to release stress.

Most local buildings are able to resist shaking from earthquakes measuring up to 5.5 magnitude. Given the current trend of only weak earthquakes in the region, chances of Shanghai being hit by magnitude 5 or more powerful quake is rather low, said the seismological bureau.

It had just told the public that in a potential tsunami, as predicted by the Japanese report, the effect would likely be minimal when it reached Shanghai.

According to the 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 100 to 200 years.

And the banks of the Huangpu River have been strengthened to survive floods that might occur once every 1,000 years. Shanghai is also naturally protected by its long continental shelf.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend