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Investment Aims to Prevent Disaster

China will inject four billion yuan (US$483.1 million) in the next two years to keep its Three Gorges Reservoir area free of landslides and other geological hazards.

According to the Thursday-published China Daily, all parts of the reservoir engineering area susceptible to geological dangers up to 135 meters deep will have been treated by June of next year.

Shou Jiahua, Vice Minister of Land and Resources, said the effort is the first stage of the decade-long fight.

Local governments are called to pledge their "full" support to preventing natural disasters in the reservoir area, under the coordination of a leading group organized by the ministry and departments in charge of transportation and water resources.

With the construction work commencing in December 1994, the Three Gorges reservoir is expected to hold a body of water up to 135 meters deep when completed in June 2003.

Because of the complicated natural and geological conditions in the reservoir area, more than 70 landslides, collapses, and mud-rock flows have been recorded along its banks since 1982, killing about 400 people.

(Xinhua News Agency February 7, 2002)

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