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Don't panic over quakes
( 2003-09-05 09:26) (Agencies)

People should not feel panicked over the frequent occurrence of earthquakes so far this year in China, a Chinese seismological official said in Beijing yesterday.

Addressing a press conference, Li Qianghua, information chief with the China Seismological Bureau, said that the frequency of tremors is not abnormal in regard to the natural laws of geological movement.

Earthquakes do not occur in equally paced periods of time, Li noted, so it is normal that the country saw many earthquakes in the first eight months this year.

Located between the Pacific Plate and the Indian Plate, an area where geological movements are intense, the country is vulnerable to earth-quakes.

According to statistics from the CSB, China has been hit by 27 earthquakes measuring above 5.0 on the Richter scale since the beginning of the year, 22 of which took place on the Chinese mainland. Only nine earthquakes above 5.0 took place in the country last year.

Noting that the high frequency this year has caused public concern, Li said that people should not be preoccupied by fear of the tremors.

As for the 18 quakes measuring between 5.0 to 6.0, 11 were after-shocks of the jolt in Bachu and Jiashi in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in February, which killed 268 people, Li said.

While fear can not ward off the tremors of Earth, Li said, it is important for people to learn how to prevent disaster and protect themselves.

In addition to improving its research in the forecasting of quakes, China will also strengthen education on self-protection and disaster prevention in the future, Li said.

Meanwhile, Li said that the country has decided to set up two regional quake emergency rescue teams in its western regions, where earthquakes are much more frequent than other areas.

Individual provinces and autonomous regions are also encouraged to set up their own rescue teams, Li said.

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