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Beijing fires up for the winter cold

10-12-2010 15:33 BJT

BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Beijing's central heating is likely to be switched on early this winter, when the average temperature plunges below 5 C for five days consecutively or when a heavy snowfall or high wind hits the city.

But as residents in Beijing worry that an extremely cold winter might be just around the corner, meteorological authorities told METRO full preparation work is under way to deal with the cold.

"A monitoring system will be launched in late October to check the changes in temperature, in case of any extreme weather," said Ding Deping, director of the Beijing Special Meteorological Observatory.

Ding said that the cold winter predicted is just a possibility, which should not be taken as a weather forecast or final conclusion.

"Besides, it targets a much wider region, which is not applicable to a single city," she said.

Ding said the Beijing Meteorological Bureau has been cooperating with other departments to prepare for any contingency.

"As soon as an extreme temperature occurs, we will put in a report to the heating supply administrative departments, to make sure the central heating system is switched on in time," Ding said.

Beijing's heating season usually starts on Nov 15 and ends on March 15.

But in the winter of 2009/2010, the city experienced the coldest winter in 10 years, with temperatures 1.6 C below the average.

As a result, that winter's heating was switched on two weeks early, and switched off one week late.

"The length of the heating season varies according to the weather," Ding said.

"If the weather is normal, the heating season will remain as usual to avoid energy waste."

According to statistics released by the Beijing Municipal Administrative Committee on Monday, coal demand for the winter of 2010 to 2011 is estimated to be 5.5 million tons, 55 percent of which has been reserved as planned.

Besides, the contingency reserve base of coal set by the municipal government since 2008, Zhang Jiakou, Hebei province, is able to transfer 50,000 tons of coal to the capital in an emergency.

Before the end of October, all heat supply centers in Beijing will have finished their water leak measures as the final preparations before the central heating comes on.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: China Daily

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