Li urges all-out efforts in floods, drought

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Premier Li Keqiang has called for zero complacency in flood control and drought relief efforts as China braces for the peak of the flood season, which lasts until mid-August.

A local resident in Taojiang, Hunan province is trapped in floods on July 18, 2019. He was later saved by the local rescue team. [Photo/]

Li's remarks came as he inspected the Ministry of Emergency Management, where he presided over a meeting on work related to flood control and drought relief on Friday.

The premier urged all-out efforts from local authorities and government departments in fighting floods and droughts to ensure public safety and minimize losses from disasters, emphasizing that adequate preparations must be made to cope with challenges arising from floods.

Meteorological authorities have forecast that North China as well as northeastern and southwestern parts of the country may see more precipitation than in recent years in the next few weeks, with droughts expected in some areas of South China. Two to three typhoons are expected to hit the country this year.

It is important to step up coordination and ensure a unified command during flood control and drought relief work, he said.

Authorities must bolster efforts to provide forecasts and early warnings, enhance safety checks against potential hazards and ensure that rescue teams and disaster relief resources are in place when needed, he said.

Li underscored the importance of ensuring safe conditions along rivers of all sizes and at key reservoirs, adding that key river sections must be kept under close watch 24 hours a day. Authorities must also scale up measures to guard against disasters such as landslides and mudslides, he said.

The premier also stressed the need to prevent flooding of cities and ensure the safety of key transportation routes and power supply facilities.

In disaster scenarios, authorities must respond quickly to guide the public to safety, ensure their basic necessities and help them get back to work, he said.

As of June, floods and geological disasters had claimed 83 lives since the beginning of the flood season in April, according to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. More than 6.7 million people were affected by the floods, which also resulted in a direct economic loss of about 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion).

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