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China Gears up for Possible Disasters

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China's National Disaster Reduction Commission issued an urgent circular Monday, ordering the civil affairs authorities across the country to step up measures to prevent and control floods and other rain-triggered disasters.

The circular came amid weather forecasts predicting two more periods of heavy rainfall across the country, which has suffered the worst floods in at least a decade this summer.

The civil affairs authorities must closely monitor the development of torrential rains and guard against flooding, geological disaster and other rain-triggered disasters, it said.

Further, it ordered the evacuation and relocation of residents in high risk areas prone to flooding, landslide, and mudslide, and said that disaster relief materials and temporary shelters must be in place well in advance.

It also asked civil affairs authorities to increase publicity of disaster-related information and survival tips.

Floods and other rain-triggered disasters have left more than 2,300 people dead and 1,200 missing nationwide this year.

The most deadly disaster occurred on August 8 when a massive mudslide hit Zhouqu County in northwest China's Gansu Province, killing 1,254 while 490 people remain missing as of Monday.

(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2010)

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