China moves to solidify nuclear, radiation safety in quake-hit regions

Updated 2017-08-10 15:31:01
An aerial image shows the earthquake-hit area in Jiuzhaigou County, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

An aerial image shows the earthquake-hit area in Jiuzhaigou County, Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

(ECNS) -- China is set to ensure nuclear and radiation safety in its quake-stricken western areas, with recent environmental radiation monitoring detecting no abnormal signs, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Wednesday.

The ministry launched an emergency response mechanism after a 7.0-magnitude quake jolted Jiuzhaigou, a popular tourist destination, in Aba prefecture of Sichuan Province on Tuesday night and a 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit Jinghe, Bortala Prefecture in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Wednesday morning.

In a swift response, the ministry ordered local environmental protection departments in Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu and Xinjiang to look for potential safety hazards and take measures to prevent secondary disasters.

No such disasters occurred in quake-affected areas in the region. Efforts were made to recover damaged water pipes at a local sewage water treatment plant in Jiuzhaigou, with no other risks detected.

Li Ganjie, head of the ministry, ordered southwestern and northwestern nuclear and radiation safety monitoring sites as well as nuclear and radiation safety centers to keep a close watch on quake-hit areas and work to prevent secondary disasters in surrounding areas.

In particular, petrochemical companies, sewage treatment plants, landfill sites, tailing ponds and nuclear facilities are under close monitoring.

Li also required local watchdogs to work out environmental monitoring and early warning plans, intensify monitoring of surface water quality and drinking water sources, and prevent potential water pollution in the aftermath of quakes.

The 7.0 magnitude quake in Sichuan killed at least 19 people and left another 247 injured, while Xinjiang reporting 32 people injured by the 6.6 magnitude earthquake.

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