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Cities affected by flooding urged to take preventive measures

By Cheng Si | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-03-26 17:57
Aerial photo taken on Oct 6, 2019 shows the Dateng Gorge water conservancy project under construction on the Xijiang River in Guiping city, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

Major floods are likely to occur this year under extreme weather conditions, and all cities that might be affected have been urged to take preventative measures, a senior official said on Thursday.

The country's flood prevention system, after 70 years' construction and improvement, can prevent floods that ever hit the nation before, while more strict measures will be implemented when greater floods arrive, said Tian Yitang, director of Flood and Drought Disaster Prevention under the Ministry of Water Resources, at a news conference of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council.

All departments that monitor big rivers and cities that have the rivers flowing across them are required to submit flood control plans, in which securing people's lives is the top priority.

Safeguarding reservoirs also is of great importance in flood control, he said. "We have over 98,000 reservoirs across the nation, including more than 4,000 large- and medium-sized ones, which can help prevent floods," he said. 

There also are about 94,000 small-sized reservoirs, and most were built in the 1960s and 1970s. These might face higher risks if flooding comes, Tian said, adding that it's important to improve their warning systems in addition to enhancing their own security. 

It's required for local authorities around these small reservoirs to give warnings as soon as possible to those living downstream and help evacuate people, he said.

The ministry will further improve the warning system against possible big floods this year and strengthen its cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to make sure text messages of warning can reach every single person before a flood arrives, Tian said.

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