S. and C. China urged to prepare for heavy rain

Updated: 2008-05-04 06:48

The State Administration of Work Safety urged local officials on Saturday to prepare for heavy rain,which has been forecast for Central and South China.

The administration ordered an immediate launch of contingency plans and other prevention work for possible mine flooding, landslides and mud-rock flows, according to an urgent circular.

Traffic officials were told to halt operations when necessary and power grid operators were asked to take emergency measures to prevent large-scale blackouts from damaged transmission lines.

Weather forecasters said that most of central and eastern China will receive strong precipitation in the next three days, with thunderstorms and hail in some areas.

Downpours or rainstorms will hit most of southern China east of the Yellow, Huaihe and Yangtze river valleys and the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, said the Central Meteorological Station on Saturday.

Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Hui Liangyu on Friday urged regions and departments to brace for possible heavy rain and thunderstorms, the China Meteorological Administration said on its website.

Thunderstorms and rain are normal for China as spring moves into summer and cold currents from the north strike warm air in the south, said the station's chief forecaster, Sun Jun.

Temperatures will drop 4 to 8 degrees centigrade in northern China, said the station.

Also, sand storms will hit parts of southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the mid-west Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and western Gansu Province.

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