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1st sandstorm data bank established in northwest China
2004-11-11 00:19:23 XinhuaEnglish
LANZHOU, Nov. 11(Xinhuanet)-- China's first large-content sandstorm data bank based on Internet information has been established in northwest China.

The data bank was designed by the Lanzhou Institute of Arid Climate under the China Meteorological Administration and the Gansu Provincial Key Laboratory on Arid Climate and Disaster Release.

Sources from the Lanzhou Institute of Arid Climate said the data bank comprises four parts: a general data bank, a data bank of typical sandstorm cases, a data bank of disasters and a data bank of references and documents.

Experts said the data bank collected all sandstorm information of China's 349 observation stations, and can even trace back to 130 BC.

The data bank was established based on a special scientific research program on sandstorms in northwest China, which is supported by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. The program was finished in three years, with nearly 50 domestic experts participating.

Also a part of the special scientific research program on sandstorms, a sandstorm monitoring and alarm system officially went into operation recently in the drought-stricken area of northwest China after a two-year trial operation.

The system is automatic and able to forecast sandstorms real-time. It offers scientific information to local governments for disaster prevention.

Sandstorms mainly occur in north China, especially the northwest areas of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Gansu Province, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

In recent years, more than 10 sandstorms hit China each year, bringing substantial economic losses to the country.

The Chinese government has invested 30 million yuan(about 3.6 million US dollars) on sandstorm research in the past four years.

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