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Bad weather info to be sent via cell phones
Updated: 2004-07-16 01:08

The Beijing Meteorological Observatory plans to use mobile phone messages to distribute bad weather warnings to citizens.

In August, all mobile phone users in Beijing will get free access to bad weather warnings from local meteorological departments, Guo Hu, the observatory's director, said on Wednesday.

Currently, a meteorological message broadcast platform is being constructed by the observatory and major telecommunications companies such as Beijing Mobile, Beijing Unicom and Beijing Netcom, Guo said.

Given that the inland city has hardly ever been attacked by dire weather such as typhoons, Guo said Beijing has not built a weather warning system such as those found in coastal cities like Shanghai.

On March 1, the Shanghai municipal government took the lead in the country to establish a three-level bad weather warning system, using yellow, red and black to signal disasters in an ascending order. On Monday, six minutes before a thunder storm and gale struck the city, the local meteorological authority issued a yellow warning signal, helping citizens get prepared for the onslaught.

The Beijing forecasters are striving to build their own warning system to conform to the city's specific conditions, Guo said.

Apart from the existing two meteorological towers and 21 meteorological stations, the observatory will build 20 more monitoring towers this year to make sure officials can provide real-time warning messages.

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