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Premier urges Yunnan Party chief to continue search efforts

Updated: 2014-08-22 10:30

Premier Li Keqiang spoke with Qin Guangrong, secretary of the Yunnan Provincial Committee of the CPC, on the phone on August 6 and they discussed the rescue operation after a magnitude-6.5 earthquake hit southwest China's Yunnan Province on Aug 3, killing at least 589 people as of Aug 6.

Li gave recommendations concerning the rescue and relief work following the first 72 hours after the disaster - considered to be a "golden period" to rescue people.

Li returned from the town closest to the epicenter the previous day, and he praised the work of the authorities and rescuers struggling to save lives, and conveyed his sympathy to quake survivors, as well as his support for the soldiers and other rescue workers.

The premier urged rescuers to continue their efforts so as to prevent more fatalities and permanent disabilities.

The top priority is to rescue people, and Li said search efforts should be intensified and urged medical teams to do their utmost to save seriously injured survivors.

He also said the rescuers should show respect for the deceased when handling the bodies of the quake victims, and they should also work methodically so as to prevent further injuries.

Additionally, he suggested the authorities should implement a 24-hour monitoring system - about potential secondary geological disasters. Li urged local officials to discharge floodwater from a barrier lake on the Niulan River, which was formed after a landslide blocked the river, and speed up the evacuation of residents living on the lower reaches.

Another concern involves epidemic prevention efforts, which must be continued to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases amid the high temperatures and humidity in the quake zone. Li asked officials to improve logistics in the quake-hit area so as to ensure basic living conditions for survivors and rescue workers.

He said the central government is allocating another 1.6 billion yuan in emergency relief funds, in addition to the 600 million yuan it has already provided

Li said that the State Council will coordinate the efforts of related departments to offer more support according to the requirements of the quake area - and Yunnan province can ask the departments for assistance regarding relief supplies.

Additionally, these supplies should be transported and distributed as soon as possible - as the roads to the affected area have already been reopened.

Li stressed that - as the national search and relief system is in full operation - the local government is in charge of the rescue work, with the full support of the state.

He asked Yunnan provincial officials to continue to coordinate all rescue teams, with civilian and military search and relief workers sharing information - under the guidance of the local government - so as to overcome the tragedy.

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