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Scholars Warned of Quake in Sichuan Last July

Posted May. 26, 2008 07:52,   


The South China Morning Post, an English newspaper based in Hong Kong, reported yesterday that the Chinese leadership ignored geologists’ warning of a potential earthquake in Sichuan Province.

The newspaper said that six scholars from China, the United Kingdom, the United States and Switzerland, including a professor of Chengdu University of Technology, drew global attention by running their prediction of a major earthquake in the Chinese province in a U.S. geology journal in July last year.

The team of scholars said in their research paper that there is a chance for a major earthquake in the dislocated areas of Longmen Shan, where the Sichuan Basin and the Tibetan Plateau meet, as the Indian Plate keeps pushing the Tibet Plateau plate northwest.

They said, “The geological power of the area, which has been accumulated since the 16th century, will explode soon,” citing the irregular seismic waves detected around Longmen Shan since 1949 as evidence.

The newspaper reported that Chinese political leaders did not pay attention to the specific warning from the scholars who forecast the place and size of the potential earthquake through seven years of studying satellite photos and field visits.

But the Chengdu University professor said, “Although convinced that there will be an earthquake, we did not expect it to come this early.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese government reported that 62,664 people died, 23,775 went missing, and 358,816 were wounded from the earthquake as of noon of May 24.

The China Central Television reported yesterday that an 80-year-old man squeezed under debris of his collapsed home was rescued at around 4 p.m. on May 23, 266 hours after the earthquake broke out. The Chinese government also making efforts to rescue 24 survivors trapped in the pits of three mines in the disaster area.