sharing the Olympic spirit
OLYMPICS/ Spotlight

Safe havens in Beijing
By Chen Bei Staff Writer
Updated: 2008-06-20 11:28



Beijing so far has 32 official outdoor places of refuge, capable of accommodating some 2 million displaced people in case of a major natural disaster.

Should a major natural disaster like an earthquake or massive fire hit Beijing, its residents could go to one of the capital's many emergency shelters, with most located in parks.

The capital so far has 32 official outdoor places of refuge, capable of accommodating some 2 million displaced people, according to the latest statistics released by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning.

Five of them are located in Chaoyang District, which is home to nearly half of the Beijing Games venues. recently visited one of them at Yuandadu Park, one of the shelters closest to the National Stadium, or the Bird's Nest.

Yuandadu Park

A loudspeaker, disguised as a rock, stands among grass and flowers in Yuandadu Park, June 19, 2008. As a pilot project for China's emergency shelters, Yuandadu Park became a model for the capital's other 31 shelters. []

At first glance, the park looks like any other one – but hidden in the grass and trees are many contingency facilities.

"Go in and follow the signs, and you'll find all the emergency conveniences," explains Xu Lingling, an official with the capital's first emergency shelter, as she pointing to a dark blue sign at one of the 49 entrances to the park.

About 1.5 km south of the Bird's Nest and Water Cube, Yuandadu Park boasts a comprehensive emergency response system with 11 kinds of facilities, including 12 contingency wells, 13 backup power generators, 39 areas for tents and two helipads.

More Stories:

 Olympic impact on CPI 'limited'

 Cozy green home for athletes

Faith in TCM

 A taste of Tibetan Culture

 Getting hitched on August 8

The shelter, evolving from the city wall ruins of the ancient capital from the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), looks like a long gray belt when viewed above.

It stretches across six streets, accessible to 28 neighboring communities within 10 to 60 minutes on foot.

Most of the park's emergency facilities are hidden to avoid public apprehension.

Makeshift toilets are covered with concrete lids. Contingency wells are hidden under grass or rocks. The pedestals of some statues are hollow, used as storehouses for basic necessities like bottled water, food and blankets.
   Previous 1 2 3 Next  
Comments of the article(total ) Print This Article E-mail