BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu Thursday urged more efforts be made on flood control efforts, as the country had reached a "crucial and urgent period" for such tasks.
Hui made his remarks during a videophone conference, noting that China was "facing a severe situation at present and in a certain period in the future".
Hui warned of risks of flooding and landslides as water levels in many rivers in south China had risen above the danger level following the recent torrential rains.
Hui also asked local authorities to put public safety as a top priority and try to keep property damage to a minimum.
Local authorities should strengthen monitoring, forecasting and warnings of typhoons, floods and rainstorms, Hui said, adding more efforts were needed to prevent the further rupturing of dikes and reservoirs.
Hui also called for more efforts to relocate people living in at-risk regions. Also, more attention was required to ensure public safety is maintained in schools and hospitals.
Further, Hui ordered local authorities to send relief materials to flood victims to make sure they have proper access to food, drinking water, clothing, accommodation and medical care.
Further, more efforts should be given to post-disaster reconstruction, Hui added.
China's National Meteorological Center said that torrential rains are expected to continue to pound the country's southern regions over the next three days.
As of Wednesday, floods in south China had left 211 people dead and 119 others missing, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.