Premier Li Keqiang called on Monday 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
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
Li's remarks came as authorities in Henan province said on Monday
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 on Monday. 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
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.
Ensuring the safety of people and property must always come first,
and flood-hit areas such as Henan must continue to prioritize rescuing
and helping flood victims, he said.
There should be no areas or people left behind during the rescue
process, and professional rescuers and equipment as well as resources
from nongovernmental sectors should be sent to areas where they are
needed most, he added.
He urged authorities to focus on the safety of key river sections,
reservoirs, dams and major infrastructure and flood prevention efforts
to protect key public venues in cities, saying that patrols and flood
prevention materials should be boosted to ensure rapid response to
Li called for sound steps to ensure the basic living conditions of
flood-hit victims and to strengthen sanitary and epidemic prevention
measures in flood-hit regions, with quicker steps to restore
electricity, tap water, transportation and telecommunications.
In an emergency notice issued on Sunday, the National Development and
Reform Commission urged cities to step up efforts to ensure the safety
and protection of key infrastructure, with measures to conduct an
across-the-board overhaul to remove potential hazards.
Cities must come up with a detailed list of low-lying areas that are
susceptible to flooding, such as tunnels of rail transit systems, roads,
railways and underground spaces, before coming up with targeted
response measures, the notice said.