China / Society

Chinese mainland forecasts quake in Taiwan for first time

(ECNS) Updated: 2015-03-24 14:05

The Institute of Care-life China, based in Chengdu of Sichuan province, successfully issued a warning message prior to the recent 5.7-magnitude earthquake that struck Hualien county in Taiwan.

It is the first time the institute has publicly forecast a destructive earthquake in the island.

The quake's epicenter was located at 23.8 degrees north latitude and 121.7 degrees east longitude with a depth of 20 kilometers, according to the mainland's earthquake early warning network.

Some early-warning terminals installed at schools in Fuzhou city, Fujian province, have also received the warning message.

A 200-square-km onsite earthquake early warning system has been set up across 25 Chinese provinces, covering 80 percent of China's active earthquake zones. It has successfully predicted 26 devastating earthquakes, including the 7-magnitude Lushan earthquake, the Ludian earthquake and the Jinggu earthquake.

Major projects and the general public receive earthquake warnings via mobile phones, broadcast, and microblogs, which can reliably predict the occurrence of earthquakes and enable people to take advance precautions.

According to theoretical research, casualties could be reduced by 14 percent if residents have 3 seconds of warning time. Disasters could be reduced by 63 percent if a warning was displayed 20 seconds before a quake strikes.

"We hope the relevant authorities can continue to strengthen cooperation to provide better and more accurate earthquake early warning services," said Wang Tunbo, an expert from the Institute of Care-life China.

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