BEIJING, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese central government has spent 2.43 billion yuan (357 million U.S. dollars) on flood control and drought relief as of Aug. 23 this year, and the country's flood-fighting efforts would continue, government officials said here Wednesday.
In a breakdown, 1.22 billion yuan was spent on flood prevention, while material storage, drought relief and flood defense cost the government 100 million yuan, 315 million yuan and 793 million yuan, respectively, said Hu Jinglin, spokesman with the Ministry of Finance (MOF).
China has suffered from repeated natural calamities due to extreme weather this year, with flooding and other rain-triggered disasters leaving more than 2,300 people dead and 1,200 missing nationwide by mid-August.
To prevent further losses, the MOF and the Ministry of Water Resources has allocated 27.6 billion yuan from central finance to reinforce existing dams and reservoirs as of early August, said Jiao Yong, vice minister of water resources, at a press conference jointly held by the two ministries.
Further, more than 10 billion yuan has been used for improving the flood control capacity of small and medium-sized rivers this year, Jiao said.
Small and medium-sized rivers are the weak link in China's flood-fighting efforts, which caused more deaths and economic losses than floods in other areas in recent years, he said.
China also plans on building a nationwide monitoring and flood-prevention system against mountain torrents in the next three years, according to Jiao.
The system would cover 1,836 counties in China that are frequently hit by mountain torrents, and would include early warnings and disaster prevention alarms, he said.