Natural disaster warning systems cover 85 pct of China's rural areas

09:15, July 21, 2011      

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About 85 percent of China's rural areas have been covered by natural disaster warning systems, a top meteorological official said Wednesday.

In those areas more than 22,000 rural weather information stations were established with 437,000 rural weather messengers disseminating meteorological disaster warnings to rural residents, said Zheng Guoguang, head of China Meteorological Administration, at a press conference.

Local meteorological authorities alert rural weather messengers through text messages and the Internet. The messengers then pass on the warnings to local people, according to Zheng.

Warnings are also issued through radio broadcasts and electronic displays to the public.

Zheng said people living in the vast rural region are more vulnerable to natural disasters due to the lack of disaster prevention facilities and knowledge.

In China, more than 90 percent of the people who die from lightning strikes are farmers, he said.

However, the deaths caused by lightning were reduced by 61 percent in 2010 from 2007 after governments sponsored villages to build lightning rods and other protective facilities in 2009, he said.

Meteorological authorities also distribute pamphlets about disaster prevention and mitigation to rural residents every year, and work with local governments to improve the standard of rural buildings so the structures can withstand disasters, Zheng said.

Source: Xinhua













 
 















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