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China weather forecasters 10 years behind foreigners: report

Source:AFP.com Author:Unknown Date:03/25/14 Click:

China's meteorologists have admitted being 10 years behind world standards, a report said Friday, after a surprise spell of freezing winter weather paralysed the country and killed more than 100 people.

"There is a 10-year gap between the Chinese (weather forecasting) model and advanced foreign models," National Meteorological Centre deputy director Duan Yihong said, according to the China Daily newspaper.

A lack of equipment also hindered meteorologists' forecasting skills, with the problem especially acute in remote mountainous areas, Duan said.

China's weather forecasters have come under scrutiny in recent weeks after large swathes of the country were hit with the coldest temperatures in decades.

The nation was unprepared for the weather, which was particularly severe in southern China, and led to the deaths of at least 107 people and more than 15 billion dollars in economic losses, according to official figures.

The three weeks of ice and snow storms, which occurred as the nation was preparing for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday early this month, crippled power and transport supplies.

This prevented millions of rural migrant workers from returning home for the festivities, which for many was their only opportunity for the year to see their families, causing much social tension.

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