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More Weather Facilities Expected in Beijing
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The Chinese national capital of Beijing will increase weather facilities across the city so that the best service will be provided when the Olympic Games are held in the city in 2008.

The decision to add more weather facilities was taken in accordance with the Measures of Beijing Regarding Implementing Law of Meteorology of China, said Guo Hu, chief of the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Observatory, on Wednesday.

The measures, which will become effective on March 1, stipulate that the weather work in Beijing should not only serve purposes of economic construction, social development and people's life, but also provide a major diplomatic and sports event with specified weather forecasts.

"The current number of weather facilities in Beijing falls far below the requirements for holding the Olympic Games, so more such facilities should be added," said Guo.

According to him, ten to twenty bad weather alarming towers will be built along major roads and communities in urban districts of the city this year.

At present, only two such towers have been operating in the city.

The measures also demand that given the consideration that thunder is very common in summer of Beijing, places and buildings that easily fall prey to lightning strikes in the city be installed with gadgets to prevent such incidents.

The weather departments have decided to erect 100 more electronic billboards in major urban communities to publicize weather information in time in addition to using existing electronic screens at public places such as the airports and railway stations to flash bad weather forecasts and warnings.

After the measures become effective on March 1, all media organizations are requested to publicize weather information provided by the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Observatory, said Xie Pu, director of the municipal meteorological bureau.

Weather disasters cost the national capital more than one billion yuan (about US$123 million) in direct economic losses a year.

(Xinhua News Agency February 24, 2006)

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