Special Report: China's war on snow havoc
BEIJING, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- A total of 17.3 million hectares of forests, about one-tenth of China's forest
resources, have been damaged by the unprecedented snow wreckage in at least five
decades, with forests, bamboo and seedlings in some parts of the country
In its latest report released on Friday, the State
Forestry Administration (SFA) confirmed the total losses of forest in 18
provinces in southern China, saying that in the worst-hit region, nearly 90
percent of forests had been ruined.
The administration didn't give any figure for the
value of the losses. Previous SFA report showed that by Jan. 31, disastrous
winter weather had levied a toll of 16.2 billion yuan (about 2.5 billion U.S.
dollars) in China's forestry sector.
An emergency SFA circular required its local branches
to organize and monitor timely clean-up of fallen trees for fear thatindividuals
or groups might take advantage of the mess to indiscriminately fell trees and
worsen the losses.
It also urged places unaffected by the disaster to
expand seedling supply to secure spring forestation that usually starts in early
Cao Qingyao, a SFA spokesman, warned earlier this
month that trees killed by winter frost in the southern regions could lead
tofire disasters when the weather gets warmer.
Dead trees and broken branches would significantly
increase the amount of inflammable materials in the forests.
The northern region, however, would suffer from less
rain in the first two months of the year, and dry plants are also vulnerable to
"It is the imminent tasks to secure water and power
supply and telecommunications in forest regions and to restore facilities in
forest parks and nature reserves," said the SFA circular.
"Abnormal death of migrant birds and wild life should
also be carefully handled and immediately reported in order to avoid possible
outbreak of animal epidemics," it said.
Similar warning also came Friday from the State
Council, China's Cabinet, as the snow disaster may have so weakened livestock
that they may be vulnerable to epidemics like avian influenza and blue-ear pig
Farmers were required to carefully examine their
breeding facilities, clean up snow and reinforce damaged pens to secure proper
indoor temperatures for livestock. Dead poultry and domesticated animals must be
subject to harmless treatment and be banned from the market, the State Council