Disaster-prone Xinjiang sets up rescue center
Updated: 2012-03-20 21:06
URUMQI - Public security authorities in Xinjiang are building a new search and rescue base in the northern part of the region that is prone to natural disasters.
The rescue base in Karamay will save people that need help about 10 hours of driving, as rescuers currently have to travel from the regional capital of Urumqi, Hu Dongning, head of the city's public security and fire brigade in charge of setting up the base, said Tuesday.
Currently, there are no rescue forces stationed within the 30,000-square-km area that makes up the northwest part of the region, Hu said.
Xinjiang is prone to earthquakes, floods triggered by snowmelt and landslides. Meanwhile, snowy mountains and deep forests draw 200,000 outdoor lovers annually and about one-third of the routes they take are highly dangerous.
It usually takes a whole day's drive to go from Urumqi to Yili, a prefecture in Xinjiang's far west, or to the Altay region in the north that lies close to the Sino-Kazakh border.
This does not factor in extreme weather or bad road conditions, which could make the trip even longer, said Hu.
The new base is expected to be finished in three years. Soldiers and dogs are now receiving intensive training, he said.
"The new base is only 200 km from the Sino-Kazakh border. If any disaster happened in the nearby country, we could also offer help," he added.