China

China readies itself for severe natural disasters this year

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China's Ministry of Civil Affairs Friday ordered local agencies to be well prepared and make sound emergency plans for the possibility of severe natural disasters this year.

All the ministry's local branches should complete their disaster relief plans, set up technical supporting systems in accordance with their local conditions, and replenish their relief materials, the ministry said in a circular posted on its website.

The ministry also asked its local branches to train relief workers and enhance the building of emergency shelters by making full use of public venues such as parks, plazas, stadiums, schools, retirement homes and rural office buildings.

In addition, local governments should make plans with central government departments on the evacuation of disaster-affected people and how to be best ensure food, clean water, clothes, shelter, medical care, and education for them, it said.

According to the circular, floods and landslides are likely to occur during the flood season, with more rain predicted to hit the country's river basins and southwestern regions this year.

Also, the country's southeastern coast is expected to be ravaged by more and stronger typhoons this year, which are likely to come earlier and the period when they are likely to strike will be longer, according to the ministry.

Editor: An Lu