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Local gov'ts urged to ready for floods

(Xinhua)

08:05, April 26, 2012

BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Civil Affairs has urged local government departments to prepare themselves for immediate disaster relief response as many regions entered their flood season.

According to a statement released Wednesday by the ministry, civil affairs departments at all levels should carefully evaluate the trends of natural disasters and warn every local individual of potential damage via cell phone, radio, television and the Internet.

Earlier this month, the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said that south and southeast regions are seeing increasing rainfall while water levels at major lakes and rivers are higher than usual for this time of year.

The ministry ordered that relief personnel and materials should arrive in an affected region as part of an emergency response within 24 hours after a major disaster occurs.

Civil affairs departments were also urged to make coordinated efforts with other departments to evacuate areas and arrange basic living conditions for disaster-affected people, especially patients, old people and other at-risk groups.

In addition, the ministry called for simplified transfer and payment procedures for relief funds and materials in an open and transparent manner for public scrutiny.

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