Chinese premier urges more rescue, relief efforts in mudslide-hit county

07:53, August 10, 2010      

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Rescuers demolish damaged houses in the landslide-hit Zhouqu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in northwest China's Gansu Province, Aug. 9, 2010. The death toll from rain-triggered mudslides in Zhouqu County has risen to 337, with 1,148 others still missing, official sources said Monday night. Rescuers are racing against time in search for survivors in the mudslide-flattened Zhouqu. (Xinhua/Gong Zhiyong)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called for a massive search and rescue work and early restoration of drinking water supplies in a mountain county which on Sunday was devastated by mudslides.

"Currently the key tasks and challenges are: expanding the scope for search and rescue, dealing with the barrier lake, which was created by mudslides, in a timely and scientific manner; cleaning the sludge, and resuming the supply of drinking water," Wen said Monday while inspecting a search and rescue scene.

At least 337 people are confirmed dead, and 1,148 others are still missing in the rain-triggered mudslides early Sunday morning in Zhouqu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province.

"We must fully realize the difficulties for the search and rescue work," Premier Wen said during a meeting held at the county government at midnight Sunday.

He stressed that Zhouqu is a far-off impoverished region with very limited road communication facilities.

He said various government policies must be implemented to ensure that disaster-affected people are properly resettled.

"Geological research must be strengthened in order to detect potentially dangerous areas, and the local residents must be evacuated in time from such regions before a disaster strikes," Wen said at the meeting.

He asked medical workers to make all-out efforts in treating the injured and the sick people. He added that all seriously injured persons should be transferred to other regions with better medical facilities.


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