sharing the Olympic spirit
OLYMPICS/ Spotlight

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


Mingchengqiang Relics Park:
About 670 meters southeast of the Beijing Railway Station, the City Wall Ruins from the Ming Dynasty are close to the prosperous Wangfujing-Dongdan commercial streets. Visitors during the Beijing Olympic Games are more likely to shop around here.

The shelters in this park have a capacity of 60,000 people.

Haidian Park, Haidian District:
With Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park, or China's Silicon Valley, nearby, Haidian Park is one of the best emergency shelters in Beijing.

It can hold 20,0000 people in case of unexpected disaster.

Planning for the Future

A child looks at a board, which is designed to educate people how to avoid injuries inside an Olympic venue in case of emergencies, in Shuguang Park, a newly-built disaster prevention theme park in Beijing, June 19, 2008. []

Although Beijing has 32 emergency shelters so far, the city will continue to build more safe havens in the next few years, according to Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning and the Beijing Municipal Seismological Bureau.

"The capital is planning to increase the number of emergency shelters downtown to 100," Yang Guobin, an official with the Beijing Municipal Seismological Bureau told during an exclusive interview.

"We will add 20 or 30 more shelters each year," Yang added. "Residents will then spend no more than 20 minutes getting to the nearest shelter on foot."

Besides these outdoor shelters, most sports stadiums and Olympic venues are also potential places of refuge for disasters like an earthquake.

"If an earthquake hit Beijing, these venues will be open to the public," said Yang.

Xinhua reported that all Olympic venues in Beijing were not affected by the Sichuan earthquake in May. "The designs of the 31 Olympic venues in Beijing underwent strict seismic appraisals before construction started," said a designer, who declined to be identified.

Beijing has so far more than 30 seismological monitoring stations working around the clock, said Gu Yongxin, spokesman of the Beijing Municipal Seismological Bureau in an interview with Beijing newspaper The First last month.

According to data, Beijing is unlikely to have a major earthquake in the near future, Gu told the First.

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