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CENC: Yushu earthquake not a rare phenomenon

The 7.1-magnitude earthquake that rocked Yushu County in Qinghai province on April 14 killing hundreds and injuring thousands more is just the latest in a series of earthquakes that have hit the region throughout its history, according to the China Earthquake Network Center (CENC).

Sun Shihong, a researcher from CENC, gave an exclusive interview to a reporter from People's Daily. According Sun's analysis, earthquakes have occurred many times in the history of Yushu due to its geological structure.

Yushu is located at the center of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau plate, which is very active and the epicenter of many massive quakes in the past. Therefore, this earthquake in Yushu was not unusual. Earthquakes occurred in both Taiwan and Yushu on April 14, and it reflects that the Earth has entered an active seismic period, though the two places sit on different plates.

Sun said that since July 25, 2009, seven earthquakes of 7.0-magnitude or above have occurred in the world, which is an average of 2.6 occurrences per month.

During the entire 20th century, the average frequency of such earthquakes was just 1.6 occurrences per month or 19 occurrences per year. The average frequency of earthquakes of 7.7-magnitude or above was two times per year for the entire 20th century, but in the past nine months, six such massive earthquakes have occurred in the world.

Sun believes that the earth has entered an active seismic period, and seismic researchers should pay extremely close attention to monitoring in order to find out whether even greater earthquakes (above 8.0 or 8.5-magnitude) will occur in the future.

By People's Daily Online

中文文本

中国地震台专家:玉树地震不是偶然现象

据中国地震台网测定,北京时间4月14日7:49青海省玉树藏族自治州玉树县(北纬33.1,东经96.7) 发生7.1级地震。

  

针对这次地震,中国地震台网中心研究员孙士鋐接受了人民网记者的专访。他分析,从地质构造上看,玉树历史上曾多次发生地震。玉树地处青藏高原块体的中部,该板块的地质活动较为强烈,中强度以上的地震在历史上持续不断,因此玉树地震不是一个偶然的现象。台湾、青海今天相继地震,虽然属于不同板块,但是反应了全球地震活动进入高活跃期。

  

孙士鋐介绍,从2009年7月15日至今的9个月以来,全球发生7级以上地震共24次,平均每月2.6次;相比20世纪百年每年19次,每月1.6次的平均记录高出不少。而7.7级以上地震的百年平均值是每年两次,而最近9个月内全球则发生了6次。

  

孙士鋐认为,地球进入高活跃期时段,对于是否后期会出现更强烈(8级或8.5级以上)的地震,地震科研人员需要密切关注。