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Prioritize saving lives in rescue work: Premier Li


17:38, July 11, 2013

BEIJING, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Premier Li Keqiang and other leaders have ordered relevant authorities to prioritize people's lives in rescue work following rain-triggered natural disasters that have wreaked havoc across the country since Sunday, leaving 30 dead and 67 others missing.

Floods and landslides caused by the downpours have affected about 3.73 million people in 17 provincial-level regions and forced the relocations of 212,000 residents, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Thursday.

The rainstorms also destroyed more than 8,400 houses and damaged another 113,000, causing direct economic losses of 8.56 billion yuan (around 1.4 billion U.S. dollars), according to the ministry.

In written instructions, Li and other senior officials asked relevant departments in disaster-affected regions to enhance monitoring, issue early warnings and watch weather conditions closely.

The leaders also stressed evacuating residents in threatened areas in a timely manner and making efforts to ensure the safety of both residents and rescue personnel.

To minimize losses, precautionary measures should be taken to prevent secondary disasters and ensure the security of dikes and reservoirs.

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