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March 5, 2014

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Shanghai to get 18 new emergency shelters

THE city government is planning to build 18 emergency shelters this year as part of its long-term plan to improve public safety, the Civil Defense Office said yesterday.

The authorities earlier set a goal to construct more than 330 such facilities between 2012 and 2020. The shelters, which are graded in three classes, are designed to protect people in the event of natural disasters such as fires, floods and earthquakes.

“The emergency shelters are key to improving the city’s disaster relief capabilities,” said Shen Xiaosu, director of the Shanghai Civil Defense Office.

As of the end of last year, the city had completed seven such shelters, of which four are in Yangpu District, two are in Zhabei and one is in Huangpu, Shen said.

First-class shelters span more than 20,000 square meters and can accommodate people for 30 days or more. Second-class shelters measure between 4,000 and 20,000 square meters and can be used for 10 to 30 days, while third-class units are between 2,000 and 4,000 square meters and can hold people for up to 10 days.

The target for 2020 is to have 20 first-class, 313 second-class and an unspecified number of third-class shelters, Shen said.

The facilities are typically located in community spaces such as parks, schools and stadiums, which are already connected to public utilities, he said.

The only completed first-class shelter in Shanghai is a greenbelt on Dalian Road in Yangpu District.

As well as the emergency shelters, local authorities are drawing up new drainage standards for underground car parks in a bid to prevent flooding incidents during this year’s rainy season, Shen said.

Last October, 85 vehicles were engulfed in a basement car park in Jiading District after the city experienced its heaviest rainfall for more than 50 years. The event sparked a dispute between estate management companies and car owners.

More than 3.5 million square meters of basement parking was opened in Shanghai last year, providing 66,444 spaces and taking the total to more than 1 million across the city, Shen said.

Another goal of the Civil Defense Office this year is educating people on how to behave in the event of an emergency or natural disaster, Shen said.

The office has developed a 3D online game in which players learn what to do should they find themselves trapped in a department store, cinema or office building during a fire or terrorist attack, he said.

The script of the game has been approved by the authorities and plans are in hand to promote it across the city, he said.


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