Authorities in Shijiazhuang , Hebei province , rejected a study which says it is the most vulnerable on the mainland to an earthquake and are trying to contact scientists for clarification, a newspaper says. The Hebei-based Yanzhao Metropolis Daily quoted an anonymous Hebei Seismic Bureau official who said the study was unprofessional. It was co-authored by Beijing Normal University vice-president Shi Peijun and his graduate students at the Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster. The representative said the study's authors were not earthquake disaster assessment specialists and their methodology was flawed and unrealistic. 'The province, especially Shijiazhuang, has significantly improved in terms of earthquake mitigation by being the first to establish a voluntary quake relief taskforce and setting up 16 emergency shelters in the city,' the representative said. 'Shijiazhuang leads the nation in terms of readiness to fight an earthquake.' The study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation and published in the academic Journal of Natural Disasters in 2004.