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Beijing Plans Color-coded Emergency Response System

Beijing will set up a color-coded emergency alarm system to deal with natural disasters and health and public hazards.

Under a decision by the municipal legislature on Friday, incidents will be divided into four categories by color: red, orange, yellow and blue.

Events will be coded according to their emergency status and estimated damage, among other factors, and red will be the highest status.

Emergency rescue staff must be designated at public venues such as transport facilities, entertainment venues (stadiums, theaters, night clubs and internet cafes), hospitals, shopping malls, hotels and scenic spots.

The municipal and lower-level governments are encouraged to mobilize volunteers to form emergency response teams, and part- or full-time emergency staff (employees) should be arranged in enterprises and organizations.

Government authorities will arrange special funds in preparation for emergencies.

The measures take effect on July 1 and a hot line will be announced to handle emergency reports from the public.

The provision was approved in accordance with China's Emergency Response Law, which came into effect on November 1.

Frequent natural disasters, such as the May 12 earthquake, and a range of accidents have caused huge losses of life and property in China.

(Xinhua News Agency May 24, 2008)

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