BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has demanded all-out efforts in putting people's lives first as the country's northeast combats the worst floods in more than a decade.
Xi asked local authorities and armed forces to guard against risks and save people's lives.
Since Aug. 14, persistent downpours have caused the worst floods since 1998 in Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, also the heartland of China's grain production.
By 4 p.m. Monday, 85 people were confirmed dead and 105 were missing. Some 3.74 million people have been affected, with direct economic losses totaling 16.14 billion yuan (2.6 billion U.S. dollars).
Although the floods have passed their peak, the outlook remains grim for autumn.
Premier Li Keqiang has also urged local authorities to relocate people and help them during the post-flood reconstruction.
Official data showed floods have forced the relocation of 360,000 people, toppled more than 60,000 houses and affected 787,200 hectares of farmland.
During Aug. 16-19, Vice Premier Wang Yang visited Heilongjiang Province, the nation's biggest grain-growing province, demanding scientific approaches to achieve bumper harvests amid the floods.
Authorities should prepare for the worst to prevent dykes and reservoirs from being breached, he said.
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