China will offer customized data services to more countries for disaster prevention through its Fengyun meteorological satellites along the Belt and Road, said a senior official of the China Meteorological Administration's National Satellite Meteorological Center.
The services will be provided based on results of a survey of 81 nations. By the end of April, 22 countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Libya and Sudan, had responded to the survey.
So far, 15 countries, including Iran and Mongolia, have made use of the service.
Meanwhile, all the 22 respondents said they wanted to install the application software platforms for weather forecasting, as well as climate and environment monitoring through Fengyun satellites.
They requested a range of services, especially monitoring of rainfall, drought, dust storms, heavy fog and lightning, in addition to training in Fengyun meteorological satellite data analysis, remote-sensing applications and data collection.
Many countries along the Belt and Road routes have high mountains, deserts, oceans and a lack of accurate meteorological information. The number of meteorological disasters in these regions is more than double the global average, the administration said.
Wei Caiying, deputy director-general of the National Satellite Meteorological Center, said that real-time disaster monitoring by meteorological satellites could provide these countries with a scientific basis for disaster prevention and reduction.
"Weather-related disasters such as typhoons pose a threat to life and property. Tracking their path could help the local authorities to decide how to proceed with evacuations," she said.
In addition to real-time monitoring, the China Meteorological Administration set up the Emergency Support Mechanism for international users of Fengyun satellites in April last year, which covers disaster prevention and mitigation.
With the help of this mechanism, an on-duty satellite can switch to a quick-scan mode, focusing on areas required by users when they are hit by disasters.
"During disasters, Fengyun satellites can scan as often as every five or six minutes. The China Meteorological Administration could send users cloud images via satellites," Wei said.
For example, in March, China provided a remote-sensing monitor report on flooding in Iran via Fengyun, which greatly assisted the country's evacuation efforts.
China has launched 17 Fengyun series meteorological satellites, of which seven are currently in operation.
The World Meteorological Organization, an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 192 member states and territories, has included China's Fengyun series of meteorological satellites as a major element of its Global Earth Observation System.