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Beijing to unveil flood warning plan

By Jin Haixing  (China Daily)

09:36, May 29, 2013

Beijing residents will now receive warnings of flooding or other bad weather within five minutes after the capital's government issues a red or orange alert.

The change is part of the capital's new emergency alert plan, which city officials confirmed on Tuesday.

Liu Hongwei, spokesman for the city's flooding control headquarters, said on Tuesday that more details of the plan will be released on Saturday.

Liu said the emergency plan for issuing warnings has been revised this year to deal with this year's flooding season.

Media reports said that the plan, released on Monday by Beijing's headquarters of flood and drought control, calls for the warning information center to report alert information to the public.

Residents will get information about yellow alerts and blue alerts within 15 minutes after the authority issues them. The public will hear about red alerts and orange alerts five minutes after they are issued.

Chinese meteorological authorities use a four-tier color-coded weather warning system, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Residents are advised to stay at home whenever a red, orange or yellow alert is issued.

Experts expect the city will have more rain this year. The capital's meteorological department predicted that the city this year will have five to eight days of heavy rain, more than in recent years.

The department expects a high possibility of bad weather and heavy rain in some areas, the Beijing News reported on Tuesday.

Residents will receive warnings about bad weather not just from traditional media, but also from micro-blogging websites and cellphone applications, the statement of the flooding control headquarters said.

An official from the Beijing Communications Administration said the current warning information system covers the whole city, which means that phone users will receive warning messages in time.

A heavy rain that hit the city on July 21 last year killed 78 people, and saw a shortage of flood-fighting materials to deal with the rainfall.

This year the city will increase the supply of such materials, and 16 professional flooding fighting teams have been established, including a nongovernmental team, flood control authorities said.

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