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Command center established to deal with snow disaster
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State council has established a command center to coordinate contingency measures for coal, oil and power supply, transportation and disaster relief in snow-hit areas, said the National Development and Reform Commission on Friday.

The center, with its office at the commission, involves 23 Party and government departments and organizations, including watchdogs on traffic, public security, finance, health care and information as well as armed forces and energy giants.

The State Council made the move to effectively resolve some major problems in coal and oil shipments, power supply and disaster relief caused by the freezing weather, said Zhu Hongren, deputy director of the Bureau of Economic Operations with the NDRC, at a press conference.

"The government will fight against the winter storm with great resolution and protect the safety of people's lives and properties," said Zhu.

The center has already called three meetings to study and cope with the situation of the disaster-hit areas since Tuesday, according to the NDRC.

The prolonged snow, the worst in a decade in many places, has hit most of China since Jan. 12, leaving homes collapsed, power blackouts, highways closed and crops destroyed.

(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2008)

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