LAHORE: China is likely to provide financial assistance in setting up a seismic centre in Quetta, said reliable sources.

The centre would calculate underground energy, earthquake waves arising out of it and tsunami monitoring, they added. According to the sources, the centre would monitor underground activities in the Arabian Sea and the monitoring stations would also be installed within and outside the sea along the coastal areas.

They said deliberations were also carried out to consider Karachi for setting up the centre. However, it was finally agreed to select Quetta for it as there was no substantial meteorological set up there. They further added that preliminary working has also been put in place and China is likely to release funds after four months - with the start of new fiscal year.

The Chief Met Tsunami and Earthquake and Director Planning are set to visit Quetta for the technical survey to set up the system. They would determine the sites for installation of monitoring sites for the instruments, called seismogram, and details would be finalized in the follow up meeting. These seismograms would be installed both horizontally and vertically to monitor the movement of earthquake waves. Monitoring of seismograms would be carried out through GSM.

A final draft is likely to come out of the present visit of high-up that would lead to release of funds from China, said sources. Both the sides would also sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), they added.

It may be noted that the meteorological community is sharing information regarding a severe earthquake in the region due to the fact that the underground energy has been accumulated here, they said, adding that the region includes Saudi Arabia up to Indonesia. Pakistan also contains fault line in between Muzaffarabad to Quetta, they added.

According to the experts, the region could witness an earthquake of seven to eight degree, bigger than the earthquake of 2005. They said ideally there should be spells of low magnitude earthquakes in the region for releasing the underground energy. Sources further said the proposed seismic centre would provide estimates that the tsunami waves could extend up to how much distance that would enable the experts to gauge the magnitude of destruction on the coastal areas

in case of an earthquake.

The sources said Pakistani manpower would obtain operational charge of the centre once completed through financial aid from China. However, maintenance of the instruments would be the responsibility of Chinese teams. Meanwhile, it has also been learnt on good authority that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is due to inaugurate the Gawadar airport on 23rd of March.