The Emergency Management Office of the State Council issued a circular Monday, calling for local governments and relevant central government departments to be alert on low-temperature and heavy snowfalls across the country.
Since January 12, most part of the country has experienced the severe temperature drop this winter and heavy snowfalls which caused traffic stoppages and heavy financial losses in some areas, according to the circular.
On January 25-27, a strong cool weather, featuring heavy rainfalls or snowfalls, are expected to move from west to east, gradually, to hit the eastern part of northwest China, southern part of north China, the Huanghe-Huaihe area, the Changjiang-Huaihe area, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the eastern part of southwest China, the southern part of Jiangsu Province, and south China, the circular says.
It urges local authorities to give top priority to the strong cool weather and heavy snowfalls in a period of time when the traditional Spring Festival is approaching.
Premier Wen Jiabao has made special instructions urging localities to pay great attention to the negative impacts of the current rainy and snowy weathers on production, transportation and people's life. He called for substantial efforts to resolve difficulties and problems local people have met while trying to prevent major accidents, according to the circular.
It demands local authorities to make great efforts to ensure safe and smooth communications and transportation; ensure a normal order for production and people's life in both urban and rural areas; do a good job in disaster relief, especially in farming and herding areas; and further strengthen the work of weather monitoring and forecasting.
Governments, departments concerned, and emergency management departments at all levels must have people on duty round-the-clock, to closely, monitor climatic changes and report the occurrence of disasters to local or central authorities, according to the circular.
(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2008)