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China's early warning system progress

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Science  26 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6451, pp. 332
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay4550

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  • Earthquake early warning system: better early or late?
    • Qiuyun Liu, Professor, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, China.
    • Other Contributors:
      • Yulin Wan, Student, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
      • Huan Xu, Student, Guilin University of Aerospace Technology, Guilin 541004, Guangxi, China.

    Ji et al. reported that a Chinese version of the earthquake early warning system was successfully triggered by a 6.0 Mw crustal earthquake in Changning in Sichuan province, China (1). Despite progress made in the technology, the detection of seismic waves in the initial seconds mostly sounds alert to small quakes (2), as large quakes are rare. Mega-quakes or large quakes usually consisted of multiple events spanning a minute or longer (3-6). Longer durations of seismic activities detected will alarm more severe earthquakes resulted from ruptures in succession. Early warning system would yield better outcomes with proper strategies.

    Yulin Wan, 1 Huan Xu, 2 Qiuyun Liu 1*
    1 State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Improved Variety Reproduction in Aquatic Economic Animals, Lab of Microbial Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, China.
    2 School of Electronic Information and Automation, Guilin University of Aerospace Technology, Guilin 541004, Guangxi, China.
    *Corresponding author: lsslqy@mail.sysu.edu.cn (Q. Liu)

    Reference
    1. J. Ji, et al., Science 365, 332 (2019).
    2. P. Voosen, Science 362, 514 (2018).
    3. G. W. Ellis, A. S. Cakmak, Soil Dyn. Earthq. Eng. 10, 42 (1991).
    4. Y. Wan, Y. Shi, Z. Li, K. Wang, Q. Liu, htt...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.