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China Quake Aftershocks To Last For Years

CHENGDU, China, Dec. 21 (UPI) — Aftershocks from a 2008 earthquake in southwest China that left more than 80,000 people dead or missing will go on for more than 10 years, an expert says.

The 8-magnitude quake struck Sichuan and neighboring Gansu and Shaanxi provinces on May 12, 2008, leaving 87,000 people dead or missing.

“Aftershocks of magnitude 5-6 are still likely to strike the area, but those above magnitude 7 are unlikely,” Liu Jie, director of the Forecast Department under the China Earthquake Networks Center, told China’s state-run news agency Xinhua Wednesday.

The epicenter of the deadly temblor was Sichuan’s Wenchuan County.

“The time span for aftershocks from a major quake is usually about a tenth of that of the quake’s energy accumulation,” Liu said. “The Wenchuan quake went through a long period of time for energy accumulation, so it will take a long time to completely release the energy.

“Aftershocks in Wenchuan will occur within the foreseeable 10-plus years, but a major quake is unlikely,” he said.

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