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Preparing for disasters
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We can deal with possible upcoming floods if we take proper measures now, says an article in Beijing News. The following is an excerpt:

The director of Hubei provincial water resources bureau recently predicted that this year will be a tough one for flood control and we should especially guard against the catastrophic floods that occurred in 1998.

Water experts point out that in 1860, a severe flood struck the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River and similar floods hit the Yangtze 10 years before and after that. This year will be 10 years after 1998 and we should be on the alert to deal with the "decade cycle" of floods occurring in the Yangtze River.

The weather bureau of Hunan province also said the flood season will arrive earlier than usual and Hunan will experience drought after that.

Historical experience and professional analysis both indicate the possibility of severe floods in the Yangtze River, and how the government is preparing to deal with it has gained much public attention.

Hunan has already dispatched six inspection teams and Hubei in recent years has completed dike and dam reinforcement work. Vice-Governor Yang Tao said "Hubei will not relax its flood control measures as it is of utmost importance".

This is gratifying to know. It shows government bodies are preparing for the worst. Humans cannot stop disasters from happening, but they can be prepared to contain them. Any letup in vigilance only compounds the damage caused by disasters.

(China Daily March 3, 2008)

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