China retrieved a total of 41.2 billion yuan (US$5.28 billion)
from droughts and floods last year, thanks to efforts to improve
anti-drought and floods capabilities, according to the State Flood
Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Sunday.
By enhancing anti-drought capabilities and preparations against
floods, China retrieved 56.83 million tons of grain from 2.74
billion hectares of farmland, said Wang Shucheng, deputy head of
the headquarters and minister of water resources.
China invested 8.9 billion yuan in anti-drought efforts last
year, including putting more motor-pumped wells and pumping
stations in operation and more people being mobilized to
participate in fight against drought, said Wang.
With the construction of temporary water supply projects and
transportation of water from other places to drought-hit areas,
34.19 million people and 27.77 head of domestic animals were able
to have access to drinking water during the drought season, Wang
Wang said during floods and typhoon season last year, China
evacuated 12.54 million people to safe places and recalled more
than 100,000 ships back from the seas, shunning loss of lives and
China experienced frequent occurrence of extreme weather last
Typhoons, floods and droughts claimed 2,704 lives and inflicted
economic losses of 212 billion yuan to China last year, which were
second only to those inflicted in 1998 when an extremely severe
flood ravaged the country, according to China Meteorological
Last year, seven typhoons and seven strong tropical storms have
hit the Chinese mainland, including Typhoon Saomai, the strongest
typhoon to hit China since the founding of the People's Republic of
China in 1949, that claimed at least 460 lives.
The administration said both the intensity of the disaster
weather and the damages caused were "rare" in the country's
Last spring saw 18 sandstorms in northern China, a record high
since 2000 while in summer, the worst drought in a century ravaged
Chongqing Municipality of southwestern China, leaving more than 17
million people with drinking water shortages. Sichuan Province was
also stricken by its most severe drought since 1951.
Northern China experienced its worst acid rain in 14 years last
summer. In August, 80 percent of the rainy days in Beijing were
"acid rain days".
Since last December, most parts of central and eastern China
have been cloaked in thick fog which has triggered frequent road
accidents and postponed flights.
Climate Centre Director Dong Wenjie predicted that the weather
situation for 2007 could be worse than the average. Frequent
adverse weather including typhoons, floods, storms, drought, heat
wave and acid rains are possible, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2007)