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Early warning, survival skills emphasized as new keys to disaster relief

(Global Times)

08:30, October 24, 2012

China plans to enhance its early-warning systems of pending disasters and teach people better survival skills to complement its work on disaster relief and reconstruction, Lai Zhouhong, director of the disaster reduction department of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, told the Global Times Tuesday.

People's awareness of pending disasters and how to survive them "should be an important part in the country's disaster risk reduction efforts," Lai said on the sidelines of the Fifth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction being held in Indonesia.

China had the second most natural disaster in the world, with 22 in 2011. Only the Philippines had more at 33, experts said during the conference.

Jiang Li, China's vice minister of Civil Affairs, said China has made disaster risk reduction part of its national sustainable development strategy. The country has also improved its monitoring and early-warning systems of various types of disasters and has established a system of warehouses where quickly accessible disaster relief supplies are stored.

From January to September, the country helped millions of people who suffered through typhoons, floods, droughts, earthquakes, heavy snow and sandstorms.

Natural disasters killed 1,263 people, with 189 still missing during the first three quarters of 2012, said the Ministry of Civil Affairs earlier this month.

A UN report released Tuesday shows that the Asia-Pacific region is paying a huge price for extreme weather, which is negatively impacting the region's economic growth.
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