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Consultants to Assist With Disaster Information

Following 12 months in which China was battered by typhoons and plagued by drought a new job title--disaster information consultant -- has been added to the country's list of professions, according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

"China has been hit by a series of natural disasters in the last few years causing huge losses. Disaster information consultants will strengthen grass-roots reporting of, and response to, natural disasters. They'll help us build a village-level natural disaster reporting system which can collect and analyze disaster information," said a ministry spokesman.

In 2006 China witnessed typhoons, floods, droughts, high winds and hail, earthquakes, snow and marine disasters, landslides, mud-rock flows, plant diseases and insect pests.

Natural disasters across China killed 3,186 people in 2006 and caused direct losses of 253 billion yuan (US$35 billion), the most serious in eight years. The government spent 11 billion yuan on disaster relief over the year and civil donations totaled 3.6 billion yuan.

The ministry has updated its list of newly-emerging occupations to include ten new professions. Besides disaster information consultants there's exhibition designers, sign language interpreters, quality inspectors of synthetic materials, interior designers and care workers for orphans and disabled children.

This is the eighth time China has added new jobs to the standard occupation list. It brings the number of new occupations to 84 since the list started in 2004.

(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2007)

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