ZHOUQU, Gansu -- Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu has ordered rescuers to step up work before the end of the 72-hour "golden window" for survivors trapped in the ruins of a northwest China county that was leveled by massive mudslides Sunday.
Chairing a meeting in devastated Zhouqu County,Gansu Province, Hui urged rescuers to expand the scope of the search and intensify efforts before the end of the 72 hours after the disaster, after which the chances of survival are believed to drop markedly.
"The disaster-relief funds and materials should be distributed in a timely and transparent way and under public scrutiny," he said.
Efforts should be made to ensure the local primary and middle schools to start their autumn semesters on time, he said.
Medical care and disease prevention measures should be intensified in the disaster-affected areas and more efforts should be made to clear sludge, he said.
The barrier lake should be further drained and efforts should be made to identify hidden risks of geological disasters and to make contingency plans.
He called for the restoration of water and electricity supplies, and for repairs to transport and telecommunications infrastructure.
Hui continued his inspection in Zhouqu county Tuesday.
At least 337 people are dead and 1,148 are missing after the rain-triggered mudslides early Sunday morning.