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China Warns of Heavy Rain in South

Chinese government has urged local governments to act against upcoming torrential floods and their secondary natural disasters, given the possibility of heavy rain in the coming days in south China's provinces, including the quake-hit regions.

President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao issued instructions on the prevention of rain-triggered disasters, and leading officials at different levels must take responsibility in implementing their instructions, said a circular issued by the General Office of the State Council on Wednesday.

It ordered meteorological and hydrological stations to closely monitor the weather to make accurate forecasts.

Local governments should keep the public informed by all means including radio, TV, text messages, wireless broadcasts and traditional tools like gongs, drums and bugles, it said.

Local governments are held responsible for ensuring the safety of hydropower stations, reservoirs and rivers, and rigorously preventing floods, landslides and mudflows. Furthermore, local governments were told to go all out in relief efforts in areas hit by heavy floods.

Since late May, there has been heavy rain in south China, which led to floods, collapses, landslides and mudflows and caused heavy losses of life and property, the government notice said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 12, 2008)

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