CHANGSHA -- Chinese Vice
Premier Hui Liangyu has called for strengthened efforts in flood control and
disaster relief in a season of heavy rains and floods in the Yangtze River,
"The flood prevention and control of the Yangtze River has entered a critical
stage. Local governments must pay great attention to it and prioritize public
safety on their work agenda, " Hui said during an inspection tour to the central
provinces of Hunan and Hubei, the worst flood-hit region each summer.
Hui, also head of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters,
visited several water projects in some counties and cities, extending greetings
to flood control workers and officials.
As China's longest river, the Yangtze plays a significant role in the
country's sustainable development, but it has been frequently hit by natural
disasters such as floods and droughts, Hui said, addressing a meeting of the
State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.
"According to meteorological estimates, serious floods will quite likely hit
some tributaries of the river while some regions along the waterway will face
droughts," said the vice premier, noting a global trend of frequent disasters
and extreme weathers is around the corner.
Hui, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China, called for closely monitoring of rainfall, enhanced
forecast of typhoon, floods and torrential rains, continuous efforts in flood
control and properly settlement of affected people.
Local governments should follow a scientific way of water conservation and
management, and build a long-term mechanism of ecological preservation to
promote the river's sustainable development, said Hui.
He also urged local authorities to help farmers with crop growth and harvest
during the flood season.
Disasters triggered by rainstorms have killed at least 43 people in floods,
slides and lightening strikes in southwest China's Sichuan Province and
Chongqing Municipality over the past week, according to local governments.