Flood control in China

08:47, June 28, 2010      

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Checking floods during summer has always been an onerous task in most regions across south China.

Evacuating people before floods cause damage and active relief efforts are key to minimizing losses.

Extremely heavy and protracted rainstorms have battered 10 provinces in south China since early June; some villages and counties have been entirely inundated due to collapse of riverbanks and mudslides.

More than 200 people have died and some 10 million residents have been evacuated.

This deluge is a frequent yearly occurrence in some southern provinces. Natural disasters are unpredictable, but preparedness averts peril.

It can minimize loss of lives and property.

Local governments must attach more importance to flood prevention measures; grassroots officials, such as township leaders and village heads, must take the lead in this regard.

Several low-level officials have already been dismissed from service for failing to do a good job. At the same time, two village leaders have also lost their lives combating the deluge.

Apart from organizing aid for flood victims and helping in their resettlement, local governments should have consolidated riverbanks and reservoirs during the non-flood season. That would have strengthened flood control measures.

Torrential rains are likely to stop this week, but this is not the time to slacken efforts. Only when local leaders work to restrain floods by putting in place preventive measures during the non-flood season will the seasonal soaker cause little damage.

Source:China Daily


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