By Cheng Si
Three new weather stations in China's Nansha Islands began operating on Wednesday and will bring more accurate weather reports and warnings to fishermen and ships, according to the China Meteorological Administration.
The three stations, on Yongshu, Zhubi and Meiji reefs, have advanced capabilities such as weather radar and can observe weather conditions around the clock, the administration said in a news release on Wednesday.
The meteorological data acquired will be used to offer real-time weather information to support navigation, aquaculture and maritime rescue in the area, it said.
Precise and timely weather reports are needed for fishermen and ships as the area is often affected by typhoons, rainstorms and thick fog.
China started developing ground-based meteorological observation abilities in the South China Sea in the 1950s, according to the release. But weather observation data for some parts of the area were not available, hampering the accuracy of precautions against natural disasters.
That will change with the new stations, the administration said.
"The meteorological facilities are an important supplement to the existing weather observation system in the South China Sea and will offer data to the world's meteorological sciences research," the release said.
On the same day, Liu Youbin, spokesman for the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said at a news conference in Beijing that a station for atmospheric environmental observation in the Nansha Islands has been completed. It will measure 15 indicators, including PM2.5, an important measurement of air pollution.
Liu said that the new station will help enhance environmental protection in the area.