"Major disasters causing deaths exceeding 10 people must be reported directly to the Ministry of Civil Affairs within two hours after happening," said vice minister of civil affairs Jia Zhibang in Beijing on Monday.
Jia urged civil administrations at the county level to guard against major disasters and report them "without delay" to civil administrations at central as well as provincial and municipal levels.
The vice minister said that in the first half of this year, China had more serious natural disasters than corresponding periods of previous years, killing more people and causing huge property losses.
"Floods, landslides and mud and rock flows have left 943 people dead, 205 missing and displaced 3.21 million people as of June 30."
Jia, who was transferred to the current post from Shaanxi Province, urged local departments concerned to make unremitting efforts in disaster relief, ensure around-the-clock monitoring of disaster situations and report information on disasters and the relief work promptly.
He called upon all local governments to respond flexibly, efficiently and timely in the face of major disasters.
Disaster relief work including providing disaster-stricken people with food, clothes, drinking water, residency and medical services, must be carried out properly, Jia said.
"All local government departments are required to take stringent measures to ensure victims access to both materials and funds earmarked for disaster relief," said Jia.
(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2005)