Premier Wen Jiabao calls for improved flood control

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao talks with people battling the flood in Gong'an County, central China's Hubei Province, Aug. 2, 2012.

Premier Wen Jiabao has called for intensifying flood control efforts and ensuring the safety of the public amid recent severe flooding in several areas.

Wen made the remarks during a two-day tour of Henan and Hubei provinces, where he inspected local flood control facilities and water control projects, such as the Three Gorges Dam.

Coastal regions in southeast China are gearing up for approaching typhoons Saola and Damrey, which will hit the coast Thursday night or Friday morning.

He urged local authorities to ensure safety and conduct evacuations in a timely manner, adding that observatories and hydrologic monitoring stations should enhance monitoring and guard against possible disasters.

Efforts should be made to prepare for severe floods and ensure the safety of reservoirs and dams, he said.

He also urged local authorities to improve the construction of infrastructure such as flood control facilities and sewage networks, which he said have been overlooked in many cities.

He ordered local officials to draw up emergency response plans to minimize losses in the event of severe flooding.

Wen also asked for more efforts to be made to enhance drought relief work on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

A massive downpour swamped highways, homes and farms in Beijing on July 21, killing 77 people.

Xinhua