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January 29, 2010

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Seismologist denies big quake rumor in Jiangsu

A SEISMOLOGIST yesterday denied an online rumor that a major earthquake would rock Jiangsu Province. Jiangsu Seismological Bureau Spokesman Zhang Zhenya told China News Service that there were no signs yet that a destructive earthquake will hit Jiangsu despite its risky geological structure.

According to Zhang, the province had several strong quakes in the past in coastal areas.

From the 1970s, a total of 11 earthquakes greater than magnitude 5.0 have occurred off the coast of Jiangsu. Another three occurred inland, including a magnitude 6.0 in Liyang in 1979, Zhang said.

The provincial seismic network has more than 150 monitoring facilities to detect minor changes in magnetic behavior, water quality and other geological data, Zhang added.

Another 42 digital detectors have been installed around the province for earthquake monitoring, he said.

Zhang emphasized that only the provincial government was authorized to publish earthquake forecasts.

Meanwhile, a magnitude 4.8 earthquake hit Shanxi Province on Sunday, three days after the local seismic authority denied a widespread earthquake rumor.

The provincial seismological bureau said on Monday that the province had an average of two earthquakes of that size every year and that it wasn't necessary to issue warnings.


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