Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, called for all-out efforts to ramp up flood control and disaster relief, putting the safety of people's lives and property first.
On July 26th 2021, Premier Li Keqiang called for stronger early warning and first response mechanisms to beef up flood control and disaster relief measures, saying that the central government will mobilize a fund of several billion yuan from its contingency reserve to help flood-hit areas.
Speaking during a videoconference in Beijing on fighting the floods and providing disaster relief, Li said the central government will scale up relief measures based on a more thorough assessment of the situation, and local authorities must arrange special funding and use the donations in a transparent manner.
Li called for stronger forecasts for rain, floods and typhoons, saying that the response mechanisms for early warning must be reinforced to ensure timely warning and response.
In the case of severe flooding in urban areas, authorities must adopt resolute measures to suspend work, schools and businesses while ensuring the smooth supply of electricity, tap water and telecommunications to key units such as hospitals, he said.
He called for concrete contingency measures to ensure public safety in areas with a dense population, including in subways, tunnels and underground areas, saying that measures can be as harsh as necessary to avoid casualties.
Li's remarks came as authorities in Henan province said that the recent rain-triggered floods have killed 69 people, with five people still missing and more than 12.9 million people affected.
Typhoon In-Fa, the sixth of its kind this year, made its second landfall in Zhejiang province in China. Despite being downgraded to a tropical storm and weakening after the second landfall, In-Fa was expected to bring a new wave of torrential rain to areas including Henan province.
During the conference, the premier underlined a highly grave situation of flood control and prevention, citing meteorological forecasts that said there could still be strong rainstorms in some areas in northern China and strong impact from typhoons in coastal areas.
It is important to adopt across-the-board measures to prevent hazards and minimize losses, he said. Sound steps are required to ensure the basic living conditions of flood-hit victims and to strengthen sanitary and epidemic prevention measures in flood-hit regions. The Red Cross Society of China has sent emergency aid and rescue teams to flood-ravaged regions and allocated tents, jackets, towels and other necessary materials to the region.
In the long run, climate change is the major reason for many extreme disaster events. NGOs are very important in China to help the government for policy making consultations, awareness-raising, and action enhancing. More youth should be encouraged to participate in climate change response actions.
China Daily, China Meteorological Administration