Top priority should be given to people's lives, safety, he says in instruction
President Xi Jinping has underlined the importance of putting people
and life first in an instruction given on the country's flood control
and disaster relief work.
The National Meteorological Center issued an alert for rainstorms for
the 27th straight day on Sunday as floods caused by continuous
downpours have left at least 81 people missing or dead.
With downpours increasing in southern and southwestern China, many
areas have been hit by flooding and geological disasters, Xi said. He
required local governments at all levels and all related departments to
make all-out efforts to prevent disasters and carry out emergency rescue
Noting that some areas hit severely by floods will enter the typhoon
season, Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of
China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission,
asked departments including the State Flood Control and Drought Relief
Headquarters to strengthen coordination and guide the flood and typhoon
prevention and relief work in relevant regions.
In the instruction released on Sunday, Xi said that governments and
departments should make overall arrangements concerning the current
COVID-19 pandemic prevention measures as well as flood control, clearly
identify responsibilities and combine prevention work with emergency
He also required efforts to strengthen monitoring over the flood
situation, to identify potential risks in a timely manner, and to well
organize rescue and relief work.
Xi noted that people affected by the disasters should receive
appropriate resettlement and that top priority should be given to
guaranteeing people's lives and safety.
The National Meteorological Center issued on Sunday a yellow alert,
the second-lowest in the country's four-tier color-coded weather warning
system, for rainstorms for the 24 hours starting from 2 pm on Sunday.
During that time, some areas in nine provincial regions, mostly
located in southern parts of the country, will be engulfed by torrential
rains. Among them, central and southern parts of Jiangsu province and
northern parts of Shanghai will be the worst hit and receive
precipitation of 10 to 20 centimeters, according to the center.
The center also issued a blue alert, the lowest in the warning
system, for severe convective weather, which is characterized by strong
winds, hail, thunderstorms and brief but heavy rainfall, for the same
period. The greatest hourly precipitation in the affected areas will
generally be between 3 and 5 centimeters but may exceed 7 centimeters in
the most extreme circumstances, it said.
Some areas in Hubei, Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces will be hit by thunderstorms and gales, it added.
Continuous rainfall has wreaked havoc in many regions across the country, especially southern parts of the country.
According to the Ministry of Emergency Management, 13.74 million
people in 26 provincial regions had suffered from floods caused by
continuous downpours and over 744,000 people had been evacuated as of
The direct economic losses from the floods have reached 27.8 billion yuan ($3.93 billion), it added.
A rainstorm that lashed Mianning county in Sichuan province, for
example, caused the deaths of three people, and another 12 are reported
The rainstorm started at 6 pm on Friday and ended at 1 am on
Saturday, causing two deaths after part of an expressway collapsed and
one car and one minivan fell into a river. The third death was reported
in the town of Yihai, according to the county's information office.
Sheltered in one of the four resettlement areas accommodating more
than 2,100 people affected by the rainstorm, Ah Limo, 13, from the
village of Caogu, said that it was "terrifying".
Two hours after the rainstorm struck the county together with hail,
the power supply was cut. At 11 pm, a village official asked his family
to go to a resettlement area to escape the flood.
He Jianmei, deputy Party secretary of Mianning, said each resident in
the four resettlement areas received two loaves of bread, a bag of milk
and mineral water for supper on Saturday and lunch boxes on Sunday.
The Ministry of Water Resources warned of the risk of major floods of
small and medium-sized rivers in areas affected by the coming rainfall.
Due to downpours from 8 am on Friday to 8 am on Saturday, 13 rivers
in southern parts of the country rose above their warning levels. As the
rainfall continues, watercourses in the basins of the Yangtze, Huaihe
and Pearl rivers and Taihu Lake are expected to see a marked increase in
their water levels, it said.
The ministry has demanded intensified monitoring and patrolling to cope with the situation.
Hydrologic monitoring should especially be ramped up in the areas of
the Huaihe River and Taihu Lake. Local emergency management authorities
should be notified of the results in a timely manner so they can prepare
flood and disaster relief work, the ministry said.