China to build earthquake warning system

Updated: 2013-02-20 07:46


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BEIJING - China is planning to build a national earthquake monitoring and warning system in five years.

While the system would never be able to forecast an earthquake, it could detect quakes and notify people within seconds before seismic waves actually hit them, according to an anonymous official with the China Earthquake Administration (CEA).

Timely warnings may effectively reduce casualties and economic losses resulting from earthquakes, the official said on Tuesday.

He also said the development of the system was launched in 2009 and is expected to be verified this March.

The project has been filed with the country's top economic planner for approval and includes the establishment of some 5,000 stations across the country with funds of 2 billion yuan (320.4 million U.S. dollars), according to the official.

A trial program including nearly 100 monitoring stations is currently being carried out in southeast China's Fujian Province and has proven successful, he added.