China plans to build more natural disaster observation stations in rural areas over the next five years and set up a network of precision weather stations covering 90 percent of countryside.
Qin Dahe, director of the National Meteorological Bureau said here Thursday that the country must strengthen forecasts in rural areas to cut casualties caused by natural disasters.
Statistics showed that rural areas account for 80 percent of the deaths each year caused by natural and weather disasters such as drought, torrential rains, typhoons and landslides.
Natural disasters destroy 2 million homes each year and a majority of them are located in the countryside.
Qin said the network will allow local governments to issue earlier warning of natural disasters in rural areas and improve the ability to forecast where disasters might occur.
(Xinhua News Agency August 25, 2006)