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Vice Premier Stress Importance of Flood Control and Drought Relief

Vice Premier Hui Liangyu stressed the importance of flood control and drought relief Monday at the 2005 first plenary meeting of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

"The Chinese government must be fully aware of the austere situation of China's flood control and drought relief work this year and should take effective measures to fight the possible natural disasters," he said.

Hui said the headquarters must be fully prepared for disastrous floods and droughts this year and made relevant preparatory plans to safeguard the life security of the people.

He said according to the meteorological administration, excessive precipitation will cause floods around the country this summer, and that all levels of the government should pay attention to the "austere situation" of natural disasters this year and take precautions.

"Flood control and drought relief work this year will be of great importance to guarantee the pleasing developing trend of the agriculture and the all-around development of the economy," he said

Local governments have been ordered to "attach great importance" to the reservoirs on major rivers in China to control floods and to guarantee sufficient water for the local people.

The vice premier also asked governments to complete disaster plans and improve their abilities to forecast possible disasters.

"China did well in fighting the floods, mud-rock flows, mountain slides and typhoons last year thanks to the leadership of the CPC central committee and the State Council and the joint efforts of the soldiers and the people," Hui said.

The casualties caused by the natural disasters were the fewest since the 1990s, with the fewest reservoirs and dikes collapsing and most water resources transferred to needy places.

Hui said these things all greatly contributed to the growing production of crops, the rapid development of the national economy and social stability last year.

(Xinhua News Agency April 12, 2005)


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