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Guangdong gears up for a safer typhoon season

By ZHENG CAIXIONG | | Updated: 2018-05-17 16:31
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Guangdong, one of the provinces in southern China hardest hit by typhoons each year, is bolstering its defenses.

He Guoqing, head of Guangdong's Flood Control, Drought Relief and Anti-Typhoon Headquarters, said the provincial government has sent 11 working groups to 21 cities to inspect flood controls and anti-typhoon work since May 7, the start of the season when heavy rains are common.

All cities in the province have been required to reinforce their coastal, river and reservoir dikes and remove hidden dangers before typhoons strike in the coming months.

"An emergency database, which includes 270 experts from six major industries, has also been established to help protect against floods and typhoons," He said.

If weather-related disasters do occur in the months ahead, senior Party and government officials will be required to be on call 24 hours a day to direct relief work.

"Meanwhile, all fishing boats will be required to return to shelters and those living in low-lying areas will be evacuated to safe areas, while construction sites will be forced to suspend construction and schools and kindergartens told suspend classes to reduce causalities," he said.

In Zhuhai, major transmission towers and related facilities will be reinforced before June to ensure minimal disruption to electricity supplies in the area and neighboring Macao if they are hit by a typhoon, said Cui Jiangjing, a senior executive from China Southern Grid.

Macao and Zhuhai experienced blackouts in August after a typhoon knocked down transmission towers.

In Shuangshui town, the local government has prepared equipment and materials worth more than 1 million yuan ($157,000) to combat flooding. Zhai Jiming, a town Party official, said it included motorboats, rubber dinghies, generators and water pumps.

Wu Hongyu, chief forecaster at the Guangdong Meteorological Bureau, said between five and seven typhoons, including one supertyphoon, are expected to hit the Guangdong coast this year.

"Cities and relevant departments should have introduced concrete and effective measures in advance to help fight against such disasters and minimize the casualties and economic losses," she said.

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