Magnitude7.0 Earthquake Hits Jiuzhaigou
2017/8/16 | Source:天府软件园

At 21:19, August 8th, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake jolted Jiuzhaigou of Aba Prefecture, Sichuan Province. The earthquake early warning (EEW) system, co-developed by Aba Prefecture Earthquake Administration and Institute of Care-life, has successfully given an early warning to Chengdu 71 seconds before the quake happened, and to Longnan 19 seconds before it rocked there. Statistics shows that the system offered early warning 5-38 seconds before the earthquake hits 11 schools in Guangyuan, Chengdu, Mianyang, and Aba of Sichuan Province, and Hanzhong of Shaanxi Province. The EEW system has also issued notifications via @Sichuan Technology and other nearly 20 government affairs microblogs, and provided earthquake early warning for National Disaster Reduction Center and National Early Warning Center.

▲Picture: the microblog of @Institute of Care-life

 issued early warning and quick report.


At 21:19:59 of August 8th, a pressing alarm sounded at D Zone of Tianfu Software Park, and it began to count down “40 seconds”, “39 seconds”, “38 seconds”...After a short panic, it dawned on the staff of the Park that, “it must be an earthquake early warning from Chengdu Meihuan Technology of the Park, a company specializes in earthquake early warning. An earthquake is coming, Evacuate NOW!”

Elevator earthquake warning device activated

Receiving the early warning signal, the elevator earthquake warning device was activated automatically, and the four elevators all opened the doors on the nearest floors rather than suspending between floors, ensuring the safe evacuation of passengers.

▲ Picture: an earthquake warning sign installed in the elevator of D Zone of Tianfu Software Park

Lucky for Ms. Chen, an employee of Haofang just entered the elevator before the warning device was activated, she was able to evacuate from the fire escape stair after the elevator stopped at the third floor.

At the same time, Chen Bo, a software engineer of a software company, was calling landing. Since the elevator has received the early warning signal, it stopped operating after opening at the nearest floor to make sure no passenger will be trapped during an earthquake. Having no access to the elevator, Chen Bo and his colleagues chose to wait. “I had no idea what’s going on, and why the elevator didn’t operate after the door opened. Later, I learned from my company’s chat group that an earthquake happened.”

According to Wang Tun, Director of Earthquake Early Warning Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province and Director of Institute of Care-Life, the elevator earthquake warning device has been installed and operated on a trial basis in the Park since March 20th, 2015, becoming the first elevator earthquake warning in China. “The alarm instrument will detect seismic waves before earthquake hits, and order the elevator to open the door on the nearest floors as soon as possible, ensuring timely evacuation of passengers.” In February this year, a wave propagation of Wenchuan has activated this device, and ensured safe evacuation.

The alarm of earthquake early warning pierced the sky

When it comes to the earthquake that jolted Jiuzhaigou, the most impressive thing for the staff of D Zone of Tianfu Software Park was the alarm of earthquake early warning that pierced the sky. The system, installed in April, 2016, covers the whole buildings of D Zone.

“An alarm was followed by a 40-second countdown. Long before I was told that there is a company specialized in earthquake early warning, so I realized that an earthquake was coming as the alarm screamed.” When the warning broadcast was released, Liu Jianfei, the founder of Coolbo Space was working overtime at the office of the Lab on the underground F1 of D Zone, “it made me feel much at ease since I was on the negative first floor. I reckoned that I was sure to run to the open ground of the first floor.”

Contrast with Liu, Mr. Xu, who works with Alibaba, took a sharply different approach, “I was debugging and heard the blare of the alarm, and the sound of countdown. I wasn’t sure whether it was a fire or an earthquake, a warning or a drill. Since I had mountains of work to do, I decided to get the code right.”

Measured by Earthquake Early Warning Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, the maximum intensity of the earthquake was about 9 magnitude, with areas of 8 magnitude and above included Jiuzhaigu County, and areas of 9 magnitude and above spanned around 1,719 square kilometers. Areas of 5 magnitude and above covered Dangchang County, Wudu District, Wen County, Diebu County, Zhouqu County of Gansu Province, Songpan County, Ruoergai County, Hongyuan County, Jiuzhaigou County of Sichuan Province, inflicting 69 townships and towns of 9 counties and districts.

The earthquake early warning system offered a 19 seconds of warning for Longnan city, 107 kilometers from the epicenter, where the estimated intensity was 4.0 magnitude; Aba prefecture, 207 kilometers from the epicenter and where the estimated intensity was 3.1 magnitude, was provided a 48 seconds of warning; Guangyuan, 207 kilometers from the epicenter and where the estimated intensity was 3.1 magnitude, was offered a 48 seconds of warning. Mianyang, 208 kilometers from the epicenter and where the estimated intensity was Magnitude 3.1, was provided a 49 seconds of warning. After the quake, Institute of Care-Life offered intensity quick report and chart, and other data for seismological departments and emergency 



▲Picture: Wang Tun, Director of Earthquake Early Warning Key Laboratory 

of Sichuan Province and Director of Institute of Care-Life

According to Wang Tun, the director of Earthquake Early Warning Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province and the director of Institute of Care-Life, the earthquake warning network, co-built by Institute of Care-Life and seismological departments of cities and counties of 31 provinces, covers a total area of 2.2 million square kilometers, 90% of the populous earthquake-prone areas in China. It has also provided successful warning for 38 destructive earthquakes, including those of Lushan, Ludian, and Kangding. However, the overall picture shows that the reception of earthquake warning information remains a “weak link.” Although 650 million people in China have been covered by the earthquake warning network, no less than 2% of them can tap into the potential of earthquake warning information. “Going forward, we will scale up the coverage of our earthquake warning efforts, and make full use of the current earthquake warning information as so to do a better work in disaster reduction,” said Wang Tun.