Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu (C) attends a meeting on flood control and disaster relief in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 1, 2012. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)
BEIJING, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Vice Premier Hui Liangyu on Wednesday called for more efforts to ensure the safety of the public and guard against possible disasters amid severe flooding in the country.
Hui, who heads the country's flood and drought control efforts, said at a national meeting on Wednesday that China faces an "extremely complicated and severe" situation in its fight against flooding this year.
Noting that areas that used to be free from floods have been hard-hit by heavy rains this year, Hui urged local authorities to actively cope with possible scenarios to minimize losses.
He also asked for efforts to be made in coastal regions to prepare for the approaching typhoon Saola and tropical storm Damrey.
The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Wednesday upgraded an emergency alert issued for the flooding and imminent approach of Saola and Damrey to the second-highest level.
According to the national observatory, Saola is expected to reach seas off the northeast coast of Taiwan Wednesday night or Thursday morning and land in coastal regions in east China's Fujian and Zhejiang provinces Thursday night or Friday morning. Damrey may land on the coast of Jiangsu and Shandong provinces on Thursday.
Hui ordered local authorities to enhance monitoring, improve the early warning system for adverse weather events, evacuate residents from endangered areas and prepare for possible geological disasters and flooding.