|Flooding nearly submerged homes along the Yuanjiang River in Changde, Central China's Hunan Province Wednesday, where overflowing water along major rivers has affected some 2.6 million people. |
Premier Wen Jiabao
on Tuesday, July 20, required relevant local governments to put people first in their flood control and disaster relief work, as floods have claimed 381 lives.
Statistics from the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters show that by July 20, flooding had claimed 381 lives, left 98 missing, affected 45.74 million people, destroyed over 197,000 houses and submerged 3.066 million hectares of cropland, causing 14.85 billion yuan of direct economic losses.
Wen urged local officials to fulfill their duties and put people's safety in prior agenda of their work, instructing them to transfer people endangered by floods and geological disasters to safe places in time and offer them food, clothes and residence.
He stressed the importance of contagious disease prevention, urging local governments to dispatch medical groups to disaster-hit areas in time and offer free medical treatment to the sick in a bid to avoid any disease spread.
He also asked to strengthen weather forecasting, hydrological surveying and reporting, as well as safety supervision of reservoirs and embankments during China's major flood season in late summer and early fall.
Wen also conveyed sincere greetings to soldiers, armed police, local people and officials who fought against floods at the front line.
|Residents in a flood-hit village in Yancheng County, central China's Henan province, paddle a raft to fetch the relief distributed by the government on Monday, July 19, 2004. |
The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, led by Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu
, also on Tuesday issued an urgent directive, demanding relevant departments to fulfill the premier's orders and further improve their flood control plans in a bid to reduce losses to a minimum.
Central and south China's provinces and autonomous regions of Hunan, Yunnan, Henan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Sichuan and Chongqing are reported as heavily-affected areas by flooding.
Since the beginning of July, intensive rainfall has hit central and eastern parts of China, the rising water level of Xijiang River is above the warning line and it is predicted that flood crests may emerge again in this south China's river in upcoming days.
Water levels of the mainstream of the Huaihe River and its tributaries have exceeded their warning lines, forcing two flood diversion areas to put into use in central China's Henan province.
Water levels of two tributaries of the Yangtze River, namely Yuanjiang River and Zishui River both in central China's Hunan province, have risen above their warning marks, while Nujiang River, Longchuan River and Daying River in south China's Yunnan Province were also hit by frequent floods.