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Rare quakes are not sign that worse is yet to come

By Ye Jun (Global Times)

08:13, September 06, 2012

Following a spate of earthquakes in East China in recent months, Web users are questioning whether they point to earthquakes yet to come, with some speculating the Mayan doomsday prophecy may be true, said a Wednesday report on the news portal eastday.com.

Jiangsu Province was hit by three earthquakes in 46 days with the latest temblor jolting Suzhou on Monday, while in April and May, Shanghai was swayed by two earthquakes.

Wei Xiao from the Shanghai Seismological Bureau said the earthquakes in the area are not abnormal. "It's just that the public is better informed."

Wei's comments are apparently not what people want to hear. Another expert said the rising number of people who don't trust highly-trained professionals illustrate how some officials are losing credibility.

Yu Hai, a sociologist with Fudan University, told the Global Times that more people are finding officials less reliable, as a result of a series of scandals in recent years.

"Some officials have damaged the image of the government," Yu said, adding that the public have learned to be more skeptical of what officials say.

Yin Jingyuan, an earthquake expert with Shanghai University, told the Global Times that he thinks that Wei has a point but is somewhat surprised to see a number of small earthquakes in Jiangsu, a region that is not an active seismic area.

"There have been an increasing number of earthquakes worldwide in recent years, but this doesn't indicate we are entering a dangerous period."

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