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Premier stresses post-flood recovery, reconstruction in Henan

Updated: Aug 19,2021 21:06 PM

Effective measures should be taken to meet the basic needs of flood-affected people and advance post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, Premier Li Keqiang said.

Premier Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, inspected the cities of Hebi, Xinxiang and Zhengzhou in Central China’s Henan province, from Aug 18 to 19. He visited residents affected by the recent floods and chaired a meeting on post-disaster recovery and reconstruction.

The Premier called for solid actions in flood prevention and disaster relief, and accelerating the recovery and reconstruction while putting the safety of people’s life and property first.

At a flooded house in Yuanzhuang village of Hebi city, Premier Li asked about people's food supplies, living conditions and government subsidies.

Hearing that local residents have been resettled, he asked the local government to launch thorough environmental disinfection and sterilization along with harmless disposal of dead livestock and poultry, to prevent an outbreak of flood-related epidemics.

This year’s disaster was unseen in years in northern Henan, an area designated for retention of floodwaters, Premier Li said to the villagers, lauding the area’s contribution to the fight against the floods and pledging help from the Party and the government to pull them through.

In addition to the central budgetary reserves allocated for disaster relief and future recovery and reconstruction, they will also be compensated for property losses regarding housing, he said, calling for joint efforts to rebuild their homes.

Seeing the waterlogged farmland and severely damaged crops, the Premier said the government will increase support to help people in the main grain-producing area resume farm work and reduce losses.

In Weihui, a county-level city in Henan province, Premier Li learned about the repair of the breached section of the dikes on the Weihe River.

He said that hidden dangers in small and medium-sized water conservancy facilities must be screened out and eliminated, with overall scientific planning on riverways and flood blocking areas put in place to enhance flood control.

While inspecting the tunnel of Subway Line 5 damaged by the extreme rainfall, Premier Li said underground projects should go first in city construction, and safety must be ensured for the projects. Potential hazards in urban facilities should be removed to raise safety standards and improve the management level.

He said the warning and emergency response mechanism should be strengthened to ensure ample time for evacuation, for people’s life security is of top priority, and subway and tunnel operations should be suspended in time if necessary to protect people's life and property.

The huge personnel loss was heartbreaking, Premier Li said, and the State Council has established an investigation group to learn the causes and hold those accountable.

At a flood-stricken community, Premier Li asked the local authorities to carry out careful investigations and help them overcome difficulties. He also went to a farm produce market, where he stressed the importance of stable supplies and prices of daily necessities, and pledged to continue support policies for privately or individually owned business.

Premier Li also paid a visit to the center for disease control and prevention in Zhengzhou and heard the report on epidemic prevention and control in Henan province. He asked the local authorities to tenaciously stick to COVID-19 prevention and control measures and ensure no major outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Information distribution should be based on facts and in an open and transparent manner, he stressed.

At a special meeting during the inspection, Premier Li underlined the local authorities’ major responsibilities in disaster relief. He urged them to make sound post-disaster reconstruction plans to restore the damaged farmland, carry out autumn and winter planting, rebuild and reinforce houses, speed up the restoration of damaged schools and hospitals, and help enterprises resume their business.

The Premier also stressed resolving any outstanding problems such as urban waterlogging through engineering measures. The central reserve and financial policies will serve as a strong support, he said.

The flood season is not over, and the weather forecast said that some regions including Henan province may get more heavy rains, which requires relentless preparation for flood control and disaster relief, as well as emergency work, said Premier Li.

State councilors Wang Yong and Xiao Jie also participated in the visits.