The storage of major daily necessities, especially pure water, sugar, salt and disinfectant, in Harbin, capital city of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, shall be able to meet local demand for one month at least.
This requirement was made in an emergency response scheme on market supply of daily necessities, issued by Harbin's municipal commerce authority to cope with a four-day cut-off of water supply in the urban districts.
The municipal government of Harbin said in two separate statements on Monday and Tuesday that the city's water supply system would be shut down for about four days as of 8 p.m. Tuesday, for fears that a chemical plant blast on November 13 might have caused a leakage of poisonous substances into the Songhua River, which supplies water to Harbin.
The unexpected stoppage of water supply has sparked a dashing purchase of drinking water in the city of three million people, and bottled water, various beverages and even boxed milk were once sold out in some supermarkets and food stores.
In line with the emergency scheme, the local commerce authority has started importing pure water and other beverages from outside the city, and local wholesalers and retailers are encouraged to increase their storage of drinking water, sugar, salt, detergent and disinfectant.
Meanwhile, a system of market monitoring and daily report has been launched to watch over the supply and demand of pure water and other beverages in the city.
(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2005)