BEIJING, Oct. 7-- About 286,000 have been evacuated from flood-hit regions in Shaanxi Province in Northwest China along the banks of tributaries of the Yangtze River and Yellow River the country's top two rivers.
The provincial civil affairs department said that a total of 3.16 million people in the province have been affected by the floods along the Hanjiang River, tributary of the Yangtze River and Weihe River, tributary of the Yellow River.
More than 45 counties in the province have been hit by the flood caused by continuous rainfall since late September. The flood in the Weihe River is said to be the most severe since 1981.
Meanwhile, people in East China's Fujian Province have started reconstruction work following Typhoon Longwang, which claimed 65 lives and left 36 missing.
Longwang, which landed in Fujian Sunday night and swept over the province for 10 hours, destroyed 5,500 houses, affected the normal lives of 3.71 million people, forced 186 highways in the province to close and 2,125 enterprises to stop production.
In an effort to speed up the reconstruction work, the local government held emergency meetings and sent special working teams to different places to provide disaster relief.
So far, almost all the telecommunication cables and stations damaged by Longwang have been restored thanks to timely repair work by local departments. Most of the scenic spots, roads and railways in the province have reopened.
By yesterday, over 200,000 people had been evacuated to safe places and traffic in Fuzhou, capital of the province, had returned to normal.
Walls of almost 50 schools in Fuzhou collapsed during the disaster, and local educational department organized rescue work to ensure students' safety.
World disaster report
Information is as vital as water, food, shelter and medicines when it comes to saving lives in disaster zones, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in its latest report.
In the report released on Wednesday which covers drought and famine, floods, earthquakes, storms and other disasters the federation said that 250,000 people died in 2004 in 719 separate catastrophes.
The number was far higher than annual average of 67,000 logged from 1994 to 2003 because of the December 26 tsunami. That disaster claimed 225,000 lives alone.
At least 146 million people were affected by disasters, some 110 million of them by flooding in Bangladesh, India and China.
Information is"a crucial yet often intangible need," said the federation's Chief of Operations Susan Johnson, as she launched its annual World Disasters Report.
"It's been proven again and again that good information can save lives," she said.
Total estimated damage worldwide was between US$100 billion and US$145 billion.
Hi-tech warning systems are important, but do not stand alone, said the report's editor Jonathan Walter."We have to build a culture of public awareness," he said.
The federation pointed to the case of an Indian fisherman's son who lived in Singapore and called his family back home to tell them the December 26 tsunami was on its way after seeing television news reports, saving 3,600 lives.
At the same time, scientists in the region were able to track the tsunami across the Indian Ocean, but lacked channels to inform enough people in threatened areas.
(Source: China Daily)