Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu Monday called for early
preparations to combat floods and droughts this year, noting the
predicted scenario is "relatively severe".
"According to climate forecasts, weather conditions will be
relatively poor this year. The flood and drought scenario is also
relatively severe," Hui told a meeting of the State Flood Control
and Drought Relief Headquarters in Beijing.
Hui, who heads the headquarters, said some regions had
experienced abnormal weather since the beginning of last winter.
North China, the western part of northeast China, the eastern part
of northwest China, the Yellow River-Huaihe River plain and some
southwestern regions, in particular, suffered sustained
Zhang Zhitong, vice director of the office of the headquarters,
said last week that rainfall in these regions since the beginning
of spring was 20 to 50 percent less than normal.
Months of drought had strained the supply of water for spring
plowing, industrial production and domestic use in the north and
Headquarters records show that 13.9 million hectares of arable
land had been hit by drought and 6.95 million people and 5.46
million head of livestock had faced temporary shortages of drinking
water this year.
Forecasts of imminent temperature rises and windy weather mean
the drought situation could deteriorate and seriously affect spring
plowing and sowing.
Hui called for early preparations for possible disaster
situations, emphasizing the priority to safeguarding lives.
(Xinhua News Agency April 11, 2006)