China's emergencies ministry stresses flood preparedness, response
China's Ministry of Emergency Management (MEE) on Sunday called for better efforts to mitigate disasters and reduce casualties in the flood season.
MEE's Vice-Minister Huang Ming said at a meeting that late July and early August is a "critical stage" for fighting floods and providing relief.
Since July, rainstorms have hit many regions, triggering floods along the Yangtze and Yellow rivers and their tributaries.
Compared with the same period last year, 27 percent more houses collapsed and the number of people relocated nearly doubled, though the number of casualties and missing people dropped by 41 percent, Huang said.
He said western and northern China should stay on high alert and make full preparations to prevent heavy fatalities.
"Evacuations should be carried out as early as possible," he said.
Over 387,000 people were evacuated in East China's Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang before typhoon Ampil made landfall in Shanghai Sunday noon, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said.