Tuesday, June 02, 2015

China urges reinforced measures against extreme weather

China's top transport watchdog urged stronger response measures against extreme weather after a ship carrying more than 450 people capsized while caught in a cyclone on the Yangtze River.

The governments should continue to eliminate safety hazards, intensify monitoring and prepare for emergencies as the country enters the flood season, usually accompanied by disastrous weather including gale force winds, downpours and typhoons, the Ministry of Transport said.

The statement was made as rescue work continued. The number of survivors stranded within the sunken ship remained unknown but earlier reports said calling from the inside could be heard.

More than a dozen of passengers have been saved after the ship, named Dongfangzhixing, or Eastern Star, was turned upside down by a strong cyclone at 9:28 p.m. in the Jianli section of the river.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for "all-out efforts" to save lives, urging all rescuers to "carry out search and rescue work at all costs and properly handle the aftermath".

Three helicopters from the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, a leading aircraft maker, have rushed to the rescue with another 3 awaiting orders.

Many passengers were said to be senior citizens between 50 to 80 years old, who prefer traveling via inland river cruise, and the Yangtze River is the most popular tourist route for river sightseeing in China.

  Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn


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