July 7, 2008

Hospitals Advised to Enhance Quake-Resistant Capacity

Hospitals advised to enhance quake-resistant capacity

BEIJING, July 5 (Xinhua) -- More than 100 hospital directors agreed at a national forum on Saturday that key structures of hospital buildings should be designed to resist earthquakes measuring 9-10 degrees or above in terms of seismic intensity.

Deputy director of the People's Liberation Army General Hospital Wang Shufeng presented at the meeting how the new buildings of his hospital used advanced seismic isolation technology to become more quake-resistant.

He suggested that key structures of hospital buildings be built to resist quakes at 9 or 10 degrees in seismic intensity or even above, to ensure that those buildings do not collapse because of quake damage.

The current state standard for the quake-resistant capacity of buildings for medical use is at 8 degrees of seismic intensity.

An earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale jolted southwestern Sichuan Province on May 12, and the intensity reached 11 degrees in the epicenter area. In Dujiangyan, one of the worst- hit areas, a ten-storey hospital building collapsed, and left hundreds of medical workers and patients buried, with only more than 40 pulled out from the debris.

The participants of the forum agreed that it is necessary to spend more money and use advanced technology to strengthen hospital buildings. This will be beneficial to the hospitals and their patients in the long run.

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