China to commemorate 30th anniversary of Tangshan earthquake

China plans a series activities to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Tangshan earthquake which killed more than 240,000 people on July 28, 1976, according to the vice minister of Civil Affairs.

"Natural disasters occur in China each year, hitting about a hundred millions people and taking thousands of lives, causing huge economic losses," said Luo Pingfei, vice minister of Civil Affairs, addressing the opening of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) workshop on natural disasters held here Tuesday.

China will also commemorate those who were killed in the 1966 earthquakes, that jolted Longyao and Ningjin counties in Xingtai prefecture claiming 8,064 lives and injuring more than 38,000 people.

The workshop aims to set up a cooperation mechanism to provide improved disaster relief.

"China and ASEAN countries are prone to natural disasters, including floods, drought, earthquakes and tsunamis, so reducing the risk of disasters is a mutual challenge for us," Luo said.

Disasters not only cause the loss of lives and properties, but they hamper development, said Peou Samy, the secretary general of disaster management of Cambodia. "We need to strengthen our cooperation, coordination, mutual assistance, share data and information in the region."

The four-day meeting will cover issues including disaster risk management, disaster warning and prevention technology and regional collaboration in disaster relief.

"I hope we could set up a platform between China and ASEAN on disaster reduction cooperation after the meeting, especially in the field of scientific disaster reduction," said Shi Peijun, the expert with the office of China National Committee for Natural Disaster Reduction.

Although China's technology is limited, it is ready to provide help to reduce disasters, said Luo.

Source: Xinhua

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