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Chinese vice premier calls for strengthened flood control efforts

(Xinhua)

08:36, July 24, 2012

BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Vice Premier Hui Liangyu on Monday called for strengthened early warning and monitoring of severe weather and typhoons and timely evacuation of affected people after the heaviest rain in 60 years lashed Beijjing on Saturday.

Hui, who heads the country's flood and drought control work, told a national meeting that full attention should be given to floods and urban downpours and waterlogging, so to minimize losses.

Weather in China has been "complicated and changing" in recent years, he said, noting that torrential rains had hit the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin and province of Hebei recently.

The death toll of the Beijing downpours climbed to 37 as more bodies were retrieved Sunday, said the Beijing municipal government.

Hui said heavy rainstorms would continue to occur, with more floods, landslides and other disasters complicating relief work.

He asked all related departments to be "fully prepared" for the severity of the situation and bring the role of the army, armed force and the reserve forces into full play for disaster relief.

Education on disaster prevention and reduction should be conducted among the public and their capabilities for self and mutual rescue should be enhanced, Hui said.

Torrential rain in China's 17 provincial areas since July 20 has left 95 dead and another 45 missing, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Monday.

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