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Press conference held on geological disasters

10-12-2010 17:00 BJT

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The State Council Information Office is now holding a press conference at its Briefing Hall in Beijing. Officials from the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Land and Resources, The Ministry of Water Resources, and the State Forestry Administration are giving introductions on the development of disaster prevention programs to control floods from medium and small sized rivers and prevent geological disasters such as landslides.

China recorded more than 26,000 geological disasters in the first seven months of this year, nearly four times the number in the same period last year. The disasters have been attributed to extreme weather such as severe droughts and rainstorms, as well as the impact of seismic activities.

China's vast western regions have experienced three major geological disasters in the past three years: An 8.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Wenchuan, Sichuan Province in May, 2008; a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that jolted Yushu, Qinghai Province in April, 2010, and devastating mudslides which claimed nearly 2,000 lives in Zhouqu, Guansu Province in August 2010.

Geological disasters cause the second most casualties among natural disasters.

Although the country's urban and rural areas have been undergoing rapid development in recent years, a lack of attention on surveying terrain used for residential construction has created many problems.

From 1999 to 2008, the ministry of Land and Resources identified about 240,000 places in 1,640 mountainous counties that were vulnerable to geological disasters and put them under inspection. The efforts have successfully avoided more than 5,000 disasters so far and saved more than 250,000 potential victims.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CNTV

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