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China builds world's largest seismic network

(Xinhua)

09:05, November 21, 2011

YICHANG, Hubei - China has established the world's largest seismological network for monitoring and preventing earthquakes near major reservoirs, a senior scientist said Sunday.

The network is located in the lower reaches of the Jinsha River, which constitutes part of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest waterway, Chen Houqun, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said at a hydropower development forum held in Central China's Hubei province.

Several dams with a height of over 300 meters have been built in west China in recent years, a region that has also experienced 82 percent of the country's strongest earthquakes, according to Chen.

Authorities should be wary of earthquakes that occur near major reservoirs, despite the fact that strong jolts are rarely reported in those areas, Chen said.

In response to concerns that the large dams might actually cause earthquakes, Chen said there is no reason to panic.

"There are hundreds of thousands of reservoirs in the world, but only about 100 reservoir-triggered quakes have been reported," he said.

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