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Geological disasters kill 1,000 Chinese per year
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Geological disasters have left more than 1,000 people dead or missing cross China each year over the past 12 years.

Addressing an ongoing workshop on management of land and resources in Beijing on Wednesday, Wang Ruisheng, a senior official in charge of training at the Ministry of Land and Resources, said geological disasters left 13,650 people either dead or missing and resulted in 71.7 billion yuan (US$10.2 billion) in property losses nationwide from 1995 to 2007.

According to Wang, 65 percent of the country's landmass is prone to geological disasters, such as landslides, rock and mud flows, ground collapse and cracks, as well as sinking land.

The number of sites with hidden geological disaster hazards across the country totaled 230,000.

Wang stated the importance of mobilizing ordinary people in participating in geological disaster prevention and control efforts.

Emergency monitoring and forecasting efforts have also helped the country successfully avoid 4,000 cases of geological disasters. They have also helped to evacuate more than 180,000 residents evacuate in time before geological disasters struck since 1998 and saved the country billions of yuan in economic loss.

The four-day workshop, the 17th of its kind, opened on Tuesday. It is designed to help train local government officials, especially those in charge of land and resources, to be well informed of the country's general geological disaster situation and to be taught prevention measures before emergencies arise.

(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2008)

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