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City installs disaster alert system in sea

SHANGHAI is installing a 20-kilometer sea floor observation system in the East China Sea to sound early earthquake warnings.

The system would also be able to detect typhoons, tsunamis and monitor the marine environment and biological safety, local scientists told a seminar for academicians of Chinese Academy of Engineering in the city.

The installation will take two years and when completed will send out earthquake warnings 60 seconds in advance.

A 1.1-kilometer pilot network, which has started operation, is already sending information back to a laboratory every five seconds.

Local scientists said the nation is planning a 400-kilometer long-term sea floor observatory network with a total investment of 1.38 billion yuan starting this year.

"The deep sea part of the national network will be located at the South China Sea, while the city's network will be included into its offshore part," said Jian Zhimin from Tongji University.

Also at the seminar, scientists announced that the design of China's first deep-sea drilling vessel has been completed. It will become the world's third, after the United States and Japan.

The ship with a price tag of 5 billion yuan is scheduled for completion within ten years.


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