China to build world's largest quake simulator

May 26, 2009
Former residents and tourists look at the ruins in the town Beichuan on May 12, 2009 several months after it was devastated by the 8.0-magnitude Sichuan earthquake. A Chinese university said Tuesday it had started to build the world's largest quake simulator, a week after the first anniversary of the deadly earthquake in southwest China.

A Chinese university said Tuesday it had started to build the world's largest quake simulator, a week after the first anniversary of the deadly earthquake in southwest China.

It will be used to accurately test the designs of bridges, tunnels, subways, stadiums and skyscrapers, Shanghai's Tongji University said in an emailed statement.

The four vibrating platforms, capable of carrying 200 tonnes, will generate a simulated quake to test a model's capacity to withstand the destructive power generated by the movement of the Earth's crust.

Currently the world's largest quake simulator is at the University of Nevada in the United States, but it can only handle about half the capacity of the Tongji simulator, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

"With a larger total bearing ability, we can set up a bigger and more elaborate model of a structure to put on the vibrators," civil and structural engineering professor Li Jianzhong was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

It will take two years to complete the construction of the Tongji centre.

Last year's 8.0-magnitude Sichuan earthquake left nearly 87,000 dead or missing.

At least 5,335 students were killed or went missing when their classrooms crumbled on them.

Nearby structures stood firm, and devastated parents have blamed local cadres for pocketing construction money and building low-quality schools.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Fewer earthquake fatalities in 2005

Related Stories

Fewer earthquake fatalities in 2005

January 14, 2006

There were fewer deaths worldwide in 2005 due to earthquakes, but almost 90,000 casualties were reported, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Mine Collapse Was the Quake, not Vice Versa

August 6, 2007

Ambiguous, preliminary evidence indicates that a coal mine cave-in that trapped six miners early Monday in Utah generated seismic waves that were recorded as a magnitude-3.9 earthquake, according to the University of Utah ...

Nine dead in Indonesian earthquake

September 12, 2007

Officials reported at least nine people were killed and more than 100 injured after a strong earthquake and an aftershock struck the Indian Ocean Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Playing 'tag' with pollution lets scientists see who's 'it'

July 29, 2015

Using a climate model that can tag sources of soot from different global regions and can track where it lands on the Tibetan Plateau, researchers have determined which areas around the plateau contribute the most soot—and ...

'Carbon sink' detected underneath world's deserts

July 28, 2015

The world's deserts may be storing some of the climate-changing carbon dioxide emitted by human activities, a new study suggests. Massive aquifers underneath deserts could hold more carbon than all the plants on land, according ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.