Tuesday, January 27, 2015

BIG BROTHER NEWS: Computer System to Track Masses in Shanghai to Avoid Stampedes


SHANGHAI – Municipal authorities in Shanghai are to set up a computer system that will combine information from mobile phones, security cameras and ticket sales to track people at popular spots and avoid stampedes, state media reported Monday.

The system is being developed as a consequence of the stampede that occurred in the heart of the city during celebrations last New Year’s Eve that killed 36 persons and left 49 injured, and which has led to the suspension of 11 local government and police officials.

Zhu Zongxiao, a senior official at the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology, made the announcement of the new system, the Shanghai Daily said.

The new system will facilitate quick deployment of the required personnel and the management of large crowds in case more than an expected number of people show up in this city of more than 24 million inhabitants.

The commission, headed by Zhu, is developing the new system in partnership with the local telecommunications, tourism and public security authorities.

This type of real time collection and analysis of large amounts of data, which will include the detection of signals from mobile phones in the city, will be used to prevent tragedies such as the stampede at the beginning of the year, said local legislator Zhu Jianguo.

The same system will also be used to warn people, through their mobile phones, of any possible emergencies, such as earthquakes, fire or power outages.

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom will be meeting to draw up plans in the case of emergencies, the Shanghai Communications Administration said.

In this way, any mobile phone user in the city could receive a text message alert within five minutes of a potential emergency.

Moreover, the government will also create emergency management plans for all local subway stations, airports, tourist spots and shopping malls of the city and assess security risks before any major event, explained Mayor Yang Xiong.

“All will become meaningless without safety,” said the mayor, adding, “The incident exposed the huge loopholes and risks of urban safety management and we must find out and solve them one by one.” 


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