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Vice premier urges more efforts in combating floods, disasters


08:29, July 26, 2012

YICHANG, Hubei, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu has pressed for more disaster-relief efforts from central government departments and local authorities as the country faces a severe flooding situation.

The remarks by Hui, who heads the country's flood and drought control work, came during his inspection of the Three Gorges reservoir and the riverbank of the Yangtze River.

The Three Gorges Dam on Wednesday was tested by the highest flood peak since it was put to operation nine years ago.

As the world's largest water hydropower project, the Three Gorges Project consists of a dam, a five-tier ship dock and 32 hydropower turbo-generators.

"We are now at a critical period for flood control, and every region and government department must attach more attention to combating floods and providing disaster relief," Hui said.

The vice premier called for strengthened early-warning systems and extreme weather and water level monitoring to protect the safety of people and major rivers, lakes and key reservoirs.

For the Three Gorges Dam, Hui said, ensuring flood control safety should be the top priority, and the monitoring of the dam, hydropower stations, ship docks and buildings should be strengthened.

He said emergency situations are more likely to occur at some embankment sections of the Yangtze River and Dongting Lake, as water levels in some areas still exceed alarm standards.

The vice premier noted that more manpower should be mobilized to guard against emergency situations, and government departments must be on high alert and learn lessons from previous floods.

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, downpours had left at least 111 people dead and 47 others missing across the country by Tuesday, including 37 people who died in downpours in Beijing.

Hui noted that governments must be prepared to relocate people living or working in areas threatened by flooding, deal with waterlogging in cities and work to prevent casualties from flash floods and landslides.


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