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China Launches Early Warning Tech for Disasters

In many coastal areas, tsunamis are an inevitable threat to the population, but in the inland areas, disasters such as landslides and mudslides also pose a serious threat. Wenchuan County, China, has recently launched a multi-hazard early warning system aiming at sending advanced warnings of approaching hazards to communities ahead of disasters.

The development of this technology in Wenchuan County is because of the county’s history of natural disasters as a massive earthquake hit the area in 2008. Being the epicentre of this devastating disaster, Wenchuan county was the hardest-hit area, so for the past several years, the county had been focusing on developing this project.

Sensors and monitoring sites have been set up throughout this mountainous area to capture clues about the imminent seismic activities. Moreover, the devastating earthquake has loosened the soil, making the region prone to geological disasters. The sensors can detect the danger, and satellite transmission can help transmit data in real-time to the warning centre, subsequently informing people of the impending disaster.

The new system has made it possible to get warnings out quickly, giving authorities more time to evacuate residents.

Deputy Director of Wenchuan County Emergency Support Centre

The Wenchuan County Multi-Hazard Early Warning System results from in-depth cooperation between the county and the Sichuan-based Institute of Care-life. The completion of the system can effectively provide them with early warning information, allowing them to study disasters and better respond to them in a timely, effective and scientific manner.

Since all the data can be obtained from one place, the mechanism can be replicated elsewhere thanks to seismic and meteorological equipment and satellites. Wenchuan County has been concentrating on developing the technologies as the pioneer of project location, so they are hoping to make the system work for many other areas in Sichuan, China and for many other countries as well.

The United Nations has been promoting the Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems for the world, and it has a plan to make the Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems work for most of the countries before 2030. As the world has learned over the years, such natural disasters can be costly if mitigation efforts are not taken.

China has been focusing on natural disaster prevention in many places, such as urban metro systems nationwide. To properly implement safety precautions Chinese authorities stressed efforts to properly implement safety precautions at urban metro systems nationwide.

Local departments and metro-operation units, in particular, should be fully aware of the extreme importance of metro safety, implement flood-control measures, and respond quickly to early warnings, according to the conference.

In case of emergencies, natural disasters and other safety threats, metro-operation units should swiftly suspend the operation of some sections or the entire network in accordance with the regulations, and activate contingency plans in time.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, The administration has built more than 15,000 monitoring stations across the country, and warning signals will cover more than 3,000 schools, dozens of railways and other vital spots. Earthquake early-warning signals play an important role in disaster reduction. Within a few seconds, residents in places kilometres away from the epicentre can avoid danger and evacuate to safe places.

The warning system detects the first waves of an earthquake which are weak and cause little destruction and then sends out a warning several seconds before the second waves, which can forcefully shake the ground but arrive later.

The warning reduced fear among the public and, facilitated by the warning, the government was able to instantly launch an earthquake emergency response. The warning system needs to act quickly and accurately. Otherwise, it will not aid disaster response. After years of efforts, China has managed to lead in technology worldwide.

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