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City to renew emergency plans for fire, gas leak, typhoon

FIRE, gas leak and typhoon are three risks that most worry Shanghai residents, local officials said.

Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau will conduct risk assessments for residential communities this year to improve their emergency plans after receiving reports from residents concerned about natural and man-made disasters, officials said yesterday.

Typhoon poses a serious threat to slums and underground parking lots. Flooding of underground car parks occurs almost every year during the typhoon season.

"Underground spaces are a weak point in the city," admitted Chen Yuebin, director of the bureau's disaster relief and prevention division.

Residents also worry about building fires and gas leaks. The bureau has received numerous complains about fire extinguishers that don't work, illegal storage of inflammables in residential buildings, and blocked fire passages.

"After the big fire on Jiaozhou Road in November, local residents began to pay more attention to their safety. We got more than 2,000 reports in November and December," Chen said.

The high-rise blaze on November 15 killed 58 people and injured 71.

Chen said that almost all communities in Shanghai have their emergency plans, but many are no longer viable due to changed circumstances.

To cope with this problem, the bureau will carry out risk assessment in 20 or so communities in a trial. "We hope every resident can contribute to the project," Chen said.


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