Home / Major earthquake slams SW China / Features & opinions Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Systems 'needed' to combat disasters
Adjust font size:

China urgently needs an efficient early warning system for natural disasters, which are becoming more common, an expert said last week.

Over the next 15 years, China is likely to experience repeated earthquakes measuring 7 and above on the Richter scale, Teng Jiwen, a geophysicist and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said.

Teng, who is also a member of the State Council's expert committee for the Sichuan earthquake, said at a forum last week that in recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of earthquakes measuring 7.8 and above around the world.

As China is located on two major seismically active belts, the likelihood of it suffering major quakes will remain high for a long time, he said.

Zheng Guoguang, director of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), said at the China Economics Forum on May 16, there are often meteorological signs, such as long droughts, that a quake is imminent, and an early warning system would help identify them. The CMA is working on a regulation on the prevention of natural disasters and will soon submit a draft to the State Council, he said.

The regulation aims to improve the accuracy of weather forecasting and calls for the establishment of an efficient early warning system for natural disasters, Zheng said.

It also stresses the importance of cooperation between government departments on disaster prevention and emergency response, he said.

As temperatures around the world are expected to rise steadily over the next century, disasters caused by extreme weather will increase substantially, he said.

The frequency of strong typhoons, for example, has increased significantly since the early 1970s.

"As a result of the rapid social and economic development, China's people and industry have become more vulnerable," he said.

About 600 million people are affected by meteorological disasters every year, he said, while the cost of the snowstorms that hit at the start of this year was more than 151 billion yuan ($21.8 billion).

Lu Chen, a meteorologist from Beijing, said while the accurate forecasting of long-term weather patterns will remain difficult, the regulation will give meteorologists a more "active" role in weather research.

Li Lianzhong, head of the economics department of the Central Policy Research Office, said it is "absolutely necessary" to establish both an emergency response system and an early warning system to tackle natural disasters.

(China Daily June 3, 2008)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- More villagers moved to temporary shelters
- Health of victims get priority in relief work
- Move to drain lake water out deferred
- Quake relief most touching experience: HK aviator
- Tents from HK delivered to Sichuan
Most Viewed >>
- British medical team finishes mission to Sichuan
- Moment quake struck captured in wedding photos
- Unique anti-quake shelters designed by college students
- Quake policies to comfort bereaved parents
- Exclusive photos of the devastation at Hanwang town