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Shanghai prepares against floods, typhoons
( 2001-05-11 09:21 ) (7 )

Just imagine what a disaster it could be if a violent typhoon hit a city which was not prepared for it.

"Nobody can prevent it from coming, but we can do our best to minimize the consequences,'' said Vice-Mayor Han Zheng yesterday.

He was talking about a city-wide campaign to fight against floods and typhoons that might occur this year.

Whether efficient precautions are taken will have a direct bearing on the stability and economic sustainability of the city and the smooth operation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference to be held in October, Han said.

Two to three typhoons are expected to hit the city this year, predicted the municipal meteorological bureau.

They are expected between July and September, although predicting exactly when they will hit is difficult.

"One in early September is forecast to be the most violent,'' said Sheng Jiarong, director-general of the bureau.

And during the flood season this year, it is expected that there will be up to 20 per cent more rain than last year. Heavy rain and storms are more likely to occur, he added.

Various natural factors and statistics the bureau has collected have proven the likelihood of typhoons, Sheng said.

Floods, typhoons and high tides are the greatest threats from nature to Shanghai as it sits on the tip of the Yangtze Delta.

Last year, the city was hit by five typhoons and eight storms. From the end of August until mid-September, the Papiron and Saomai typhoons caused over 60 breaks in the seawall and 47 leaks of the anti-flood walls along the rivers.

"Our anti-flood facilities are not satisfactory,'' said Zhang Jiayi, deputy commander-in-chief of the Municipal Anti-flood Headquarters.

About 110 kilometres of anti-flood walls along the Huangpu River are to be completed soon. Drainage pipes are to be cleared and more pump stations are to be built to discharge flood water.

Government cash will fully support these anti-flood projects and all officials must be vigilant, especially at the administrative level, Han said.



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