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UN praises China's swift response to snow disaster
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The United Nations' disaster reduction chief Tuesday praised the swift and effective action by the Chinese government in the face of the country's worst snow disaster for decades.

China swiftly put into play an emergency plan amid its worst winter weather in almost half a century, said Salvano Briceno, the director of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), in a statement.

Its government has done a good job in actively mobilizing all resources to satisfy the needs of the more than 100 million people affected by the heavy snow, which cut off power and water supplies and stranded millions trying to get home for the Lunar New Year, he said.

Drastic climate changes, the accelerated process of urbanization and deteriorating environment have complicated disasters throughout the world which are affecting more and more people, especially those living in poverty, Briceno said.

It's time for more efforts by the international community to eliminate the threats posed by extreme weather, he said, adding that governments of all nations should gear themselves up for such threats and boost their capacity to fight natural disasters.

(Xinhua News Agency February 7, 2008)

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