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Authorities Call for Tighter Flood Prevention

Flood control authorities across China have been told to intensify flood control and prevention efforts as the whole country enters flood season on Wednesday.

The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters has forecast heavy rainfalls and possible flood disasters in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the country's longest river, in the coming three months, according to Wang Shucheng, the headquarters' deputy chief and minister of water resources.

Wang warns areas along the Yellow River, China's second longest river, have to be on alert as well, particularly the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the northern parts of the Loess Plateau, where heavy rainfalls are predicted.

Even arid areas along the Haihe River in the north must not be off guard because heavy floods are often likely to follow longtime drought, he said.

Wang urges local flood control authorities to bear in mind the flood resistant capacity of rivers, lakes and water traffic arteries and step up reinforcement of dams, reservoirs and other flood control projects.

"Flood control authorities must give priority to the safety of the people and their property," Wang said.

While northern China is largely at the doorstep of this year's flood season, most southern provinces and regions have reported repeated rainstorms and coastal regions along the southeastern coast are being prepared for typhoons.

The China Meteorological Administration has forecast more rainfall in the coming three months compared with the same period of last year, which has made it "imperative" for the country to tighten flood control in major rivers, according to Qin Dahe, director of the administration.

In 2004, floods killed 1,343 people in China, the fewest since the 1990s.

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2005)

Rainstorm Kills Eight in NW China
Natural Disasters Hit Several Regions Around the Country
Natural Disasters and Accidents Claim 29 Lives in Total
Yangtze River Faces Flood Threat
Flood and Drought Warning for Summer
Nation's Longest River Likely to Flood This Summer
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