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Premier Li calls for solid steps for flood control

Updated: Jul 30,2016 9:51 PM

Premier Li Keqiang made an inspection visit to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters and chaired a special meeting on July 29, making arrangements for the next step of flood control, relief and resettlement work.

Premier Li learned about the overall situation of floods across the country, including changes in water levels of the Yangtze and Huaihe rivers and Dongting and Taihu lakes, water conservancy arrangements, and flood control measures taken by cities affected by floods.

The Premier urged related departments not to slack off, as flood control is still at a critical juncture. Precautionary and effective emergency measures are needed to guard against even minor dangers, he said. The Premier lauded the tremendous flood control efforts made by related departments in the previous months.

Senior officials from the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters and the weather forecasting authorities briefed the Premier on flood control work at the meeting. Due to the strong EI Nino phenomenon this year, China has experienced abnormal weather conditions, such as rare severe flooding in the country’s many areas, including the north and the south, the Premier said.

The country’s top leadership has attached great importance to flood control work, and all regions and departments involved must cooperate and fully implement flood control measures taken by the State Council and the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, Premier Li noted.

Some regions have shown their weak capabilities to respond and ineffective emergency measures when facing flooding that is more serious than in the same period in previous years, although prevention efforts have helped minimize losses and ensure people’s safety, he pointed out.

Governments at all levels must be fully prepared for possible dangers posed by the current grim situation of flooding and shoulder their responsibilities to prevent and reduce casualties, the Premier said.

Premier Li asked for concerted effort in flood control and resettlement of the affected. Continued efforts must be made to guard against dangers in rivers and lakes in the country’s north and south, he said.

The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters should beef up flood control guidance, while related departments at local levels should take major responsibility to ensure the safety of people and major projects and facilities. Local authorities need to overcome difficulties, including continuously high temperatures, strengthen monitoring and early warning, and eliminate hidden dangers, the Premier said.

Premier Li urged vigilance against potential disasters, including waterlogging, floods and mudslides, which could be triggered by typhoons and heavy rainfall. He also called for making plans to resettle affected people in the event of abnormal rain in some regions, especially northern areas. Early warnings should reach residents in towns and villages, and casualties that are caused by related departments’ ineffective responses to dangerous situations will not be tolerated under any circumstances, the Premier stressed.

The Premier also called for promoting stability through resettlement. Related departments must allocate funds and supplies in a timely manner, offer adequate food, clothes, medical treatment and shelters to people in disaster-hit regions. He also asked that measures be taken to ensure students in affected regions can go to school.

Meanwhile, Premier Li called for strengthening post-disaster epidemic prevention. He also asked for scientific planning in reconstruction work, which will prioritize the reinforcement and repair of damaged school buildings and hospitals, as well as the water supply, roads, electric power and telecom facilities. He also required that efforts be made to improve water conservancy facilities by attracting funds from various channels. The Premier urged that market regulation be strengthened to stabilize prices and ensure supplies in flood-affected regions.

Moreover, the Premier asked related departments to keep a strong sense of responsibility. Reducing casualties to the greatest extent, ensuring the safety of essential dams and reservoirs, and properly resettling affected people are major tasks for flood control, he said.

He also urged for reinforcements in the coordination work in flood control and resettlement, and that officials earnestly respond to public concerns.

Vice-Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jing accompanied Premier Li during his inspection visit and also attended the meeting.