President urges prevention against secondary disasters

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President Xi Jinping has urged all-out efforts to prevent fresh casualties caused by secondary disasters like landslides after a major quake hit southwest China's Sichuan Province Saturday.

Local authorities should immediately assess the possible damage from "secondary geological hazards," especially taking full consideration of the possibility that strong aftershocks and rainfalls could aggravate secondary disasters, Xi said in an instruction on April 22.

The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Sichuan's Lushan has left 196 dead and 21 missing as of Wednesday. Secondary geological hazards include landslides, cave-ins and mudslides.

Xi said special efforts should be organized to carefully identify risks in key areas and formulate plans for early warning, evacuation and emergency rescue, in order to prevent the loss of lives and property caused by secondary hazards.

At a meeting held by the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on April 23, Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, again urged all-out efforts to prevent secondary geological disasters.

"I'm especially worried about geological hazards such as cave-ins and landslides, as the region could suffer from frequent aftershocks and wet weather after the strong quake," Xi said at the meeting.

Local authorities should strengthen monitoring and prevention and guide people to avoid dangers, he added.

In response to Xi's instructions, local governments working with relevant departments have released information on possible locations of geological disasters to quake survivors via TV, radio, newspaper and the Internet.


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