China to launch comprehensive survey on natural disasters

China is launching its first nationwide survey on all natural disasters affecting the country to reduce risks and protect the people, according to the China National Commission for Disaster Reduction.

The announcement was made during a cross-departmental press conference on Tuesday.

Zheng Guoguang, head of the commission, said that the goal of the survey is to fully understand the risks of all natural disasters in the country and draw a pattern so as to establish a technical support system in disaster prevention and reduction. 

Here are a few takeaways from the briefing:

1. China is currently affected by 22 natural disasters in six categories: earthquakes, geological disasters, meteorological disasters, floods and droughts, marine disasters, and forest and grassland fires. Of all damages caused by natural disasters, 70 percent result from meteorological disasters including floods, droughts, typhoons, and thunderstorms. In response, authorities said they will push forward an early warning system.

2. As a result of the survey, a national database on natural disasters will be built by the end of 2022 which will categorize different natural disasters in different regions as well as their characteristics and prevention guidelines. The database will lay a foundation for future disaster relief efforts in the country.

3. The survey will contribute to an intelligent disaster prevention system which uses the latest technology in Big Data and information sharing to improve efficiency.

4. Special emphasis will be placed on guaranteeing data quality, which means an inspection mechanism will be built from the county level to the national level. Law enforcement will also be stepped up to ensure accountability.

(Cover image via VCG)

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