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China steps up investment in flood control

(Xinhua)

08:15, September 20, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The central government has budgeted 7.78 billion yuan (1.22 billion U.S. dollars) to assist local regions in beefing up flood control efforts, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said Wednesday.

The money budgeted thus far is part of a three-year program launched by the government in November 2010 to build a nationwide flood information and warning system, a statement from the government agency said.

The network is intended to provide timely warnings and advisory information concerning emergency response, evacuation and shelter in the event of a major flood, the statement said.

So far, the money allocated has reached 2,058 counties, according to the statement.

Initial data showed that 645 counties included in the system have sent out 19,000 flood warnings so far this year. The information led to the evacuation of 2.65 million residents, which helped bring down casualties significantly, the statement said.

Data showed that 428 people have died in floods since the start of the year. However, the casualties were the fewest since 2003, according to the statement.

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