Print This Page Email This Page
China Vows to Normalize Life, Production in Snow-hit Areas ASAP

China pledged to normalize life and production in snow-hit provinces as early as possible at an executive meeting in Beijing on Wednesday to make arrangements on the issue of rebuilding in these areas.

Premier Wen Jiabao presided over the executive meeting of the State Council, China's Cabinet.

The meeting marks a turning point of China shifting the focus of its efforts from disaster relief to reconstruction of the badly hit areas.

The State Council spoke highly of the joint efforts made by civilians, troops and police to fight the snow-caused catastrophes.

Currently, transport has returned to normal nationwide and damaged power supply and transmission networks are being repaired. In the affected areas, power supply for residential use has basically been restored, markets are stable and social order has been maintained, according to the meeting.

The meeting warned local governments and departments concerned not to relax as in some areas power supply facilities were yet repaired. In addition, the transport of power-use coal was still difficult, large areas of croplands were completely destroyed and life is very hard for local people.

The State Council asked local authorities to organize manpower, materials and funds to rebuild damaged infrastructure, restore industrial and agricultural production and normalize people's lives as early as possible while trying hard to minimize losses caused by the catastrophe.

According to the meeting, power supply in the affected areas must be completely normalized by the end of March, while transport facilities, telecom networks and radio and TV broadcasting networks must be normalized as quickly as possible.

The State Council also made detailed plans for restoring industrial and agricultural production in the affected areas, including the providing of crop seeds and food to affected farmers and in increasing coal, power and oil shipments to affected areas.

According to the latest official statistics, snow-caused catastrophes have killed 107 and caused 111.1 billion yuan (about US$15.4 billion) in direct financial loss.

Altogether, 21 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have been affected. About 1.5 million people have been evacuated, and 1.93 million stranded passengers have been transported out.

The extreme weather affected nearly 24.4 million hectares of farmland and 18.6 million hectares of forests.

The State Forestry Administration has allocated a total of 34.3million yuan (US$4.7 million) for subsidy to the worst-hit six provinces.

The forestry administration also made plans to cut back relative taxes to relieve farmers and encourage production after the snow storms.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has proposed to provide technology support for the snow stricken areas, to help with restoring industrial and agricultural production.

Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology, said on a work conference here on Wednesday the ministry would closely monitor secondary disasters that might come along with the snow storm, send technicians to snow-hit areas to facilitate power grid reconstruction and agricultural production.

He also said the ministry will strengthen the country's alarm system against natural disasters by granting more funds into research in related areas.

The science ministry has already allocated 20 million yuan (US$2.73 million) to help with disaster relief, and have distributed science brochures compiled by the ministry to snow stricken areas.

It also ordered relevant departments to monitor possible secondary disasters coming along with the low temperature, snow and freezing rain.

In addition, the ministries of civil affairs and finance have allocated a total of 535 million yuan (US$73.79 million) in emergency funding to regions affected by the disaster.

The two ministries have so far earmarked another 710 million yuan for needy urban and rural residents in seven of the worst-hit provinces and regions as temporary subsidies.

(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2008)

Related Stories
- 107 Dead, US$15.4 Bln Lost Due to Snow
- Snow, Bad Weather Damage 18.6 Mln Hectares of Forest
- China Continues Efforts to Restore Power Supply in Snow-hit Areas
- China Issues Pamphlet to Guide Reconstruction in Disaster-hit Areas

Print This Page Email This Page
Chinese Academics Meet to Discuss Disaster Relief
Better Care for City's Migrants
WHO Sees Legacy of Health from Games
The Blind 'See' Movies Through One Man's Passion
Hainan to Start Massive Construction of Submarine Cable Project
Millions on the Move at Start of Post-Spring Festival Travel Peak

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys