Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Friday for much stronger measures in flood prevention and rescue work and urged relevant departments to give priority to the safety of people’s lives and property.
Xi, who is also secretary-general of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made his remarks while presiding over a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
Xi stressed that flood prevention and rescue work matter to the safety of people’s lives and property, food security, economic security, social stability and State security.
As the nation will secure victory in the building of a moderately prosperous society and shaking off absolute poverty at the end of this year, Xi said it is critically important to do a good job in flood prevention and rescue work.
Since the floods hit southern China in June, relevant local Party committees, government departments as well as the People’s Liberation Army and armed troops have coordinated their efforts in flood relief and rescue work, and have achieved positive results, he said.
Xi urged authorities to shoulder their responsibilities for flood prevention and control work, strengthen coordination and synergies in anti-flood efforts, take more effective measures, do solid work in monitoring and early warning, prepare well for contingency plans, materials and human resources for flood prevention and put them in place in advance.
Participants of the meeting underlined the need to intensify coordination between different areas, leverage the strength of professional agencies and build up synergies among various provinces, departments and military and civilian forces, a news release issued after the meeting said.
Party committees and governments at all levels should take responsibility and go to the frontline to guide flood control work, it said.
The meeting also underlined the importance of improving the level of precise early warnings, particularly for heavy rainfall, typhoons, torrential floods and mudslides, and pre-warning information should be released in a timely way to villages, households and individuals, it added.
While engaging in flood control and disaster relief efforts, it said, authorities should at the same time carefully plan reconstruction to restore production and help people return to their normal lives as soon as possible.
Serious efforts must be made to assist poor, flood-affected residents so that they do not fall back into poverty because of a disaster, it said.
The participants also stressed the need to improve the country’s disaster prevention capacity, strengthen weaknesses in key infrastructure construction and build up anti-disaster systems and capacity, it added.
Ever since the flood hit areas of southern China, the CPC Central Committee has prioritised flood prevention and rescue work.
On May 19, before the floods, while presiding over a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Xi urged relevant departments and local governments to make all-out efforts to protect people’s lives and property.
Since last month, continuous downpours have lashed large parts of southern China, and the waters of many rivers in affected areas have exceeded warning levels. Some 20.27 million residents have been affected by heavy floods in 24 provincial-level regions across China.
Also this month, some 89,000 houses have been damaged, and direct economic losses have amounted to 49.18 billion yuan ($7 billion), the Ministry of Emergency Management said on Thursday.
CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK