Photo taken on Jan 11, 2019 shows an automatic container dock in Tangshan, North China's Hebei province. (Photo: Xinhua)
Forty-four years ago, on July 28, 1976, Tangshan city in North China's Hebei province was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 242,000 people and injured over 164,000. In an instant, the city was left in ruins.
Today, Tangshan, which lies northwest of Bohai Bay and is about 150 kilometers southeast of Beijing, has grown into an industrial hub in northern China.
In the first half of the year, the added value of the city's industries above designated size increased by 3.2 percent year-on-year, 4.5 percent higher than the national level, Hebei Daily reported.
During the past 44 years, the province has carried out a series of measures to strengthen its ability to mitigate earthquake disasters, the Hebei Earthquake Agency said.
According to the agency, Hebei has a special geographical location, complicated geological structure and also has frequent earthquake disasters. The number of earthquakes that have occurred in Hebei accounts for about 10 percent of the country's total, the agency said.
The province has set up an earthquake monitoring network formulated by three levels - from counties, cities and to the provincial level. All earthquakes that are at 2 magnitude or higher can be monitored, according to Li Xiaojun, deputy head of the agency's Science and Technology Department.
"We have the ability to report an earthquake's information - time, location and magnitude - within 8 minutes after an earthquake, which is when a 3 magnitud e or higher happens," he said.
More than 650 new stations for earthquake monitoring and warning services have been established across the province, Li added.
What's more, thorough investigation on earthquake risks and the distribution of active faults in the province's 11 cities are carried out.
The information is widely used in the fields of land development and construction. And the buildings and houses in earthquake-prone areas are reinforced.