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Prepare for more serious flooding of Huaihe River: Chinese Premier

HEFEI, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has told local authorities to be fully aware of the "grave flood-control situation" and to prepare for more serious flooding of the Huaihe River, the third longest waterway in China.

Wen made the remarks during an inspection tour in east China's Anhui Province on July 24 after concluding an inspection of flood control operations along the Yangtze, China's longest river, in Hubei Province.

Water levels on the Huaihe's main stream and tributaries have risen above the warning levels after extensive heavy rains in the river's upper reaches this month.

Although water levels have dropped in recent days, weather forecasters are predicting more heavy rain along the river and areas to its south in the next two days.

Wen said the Huaihe River flood-control headquarters must advise and coordinate local governments in flood prevention and containment.

He ordered provincial governments along the river to work in concert and fully carry out instructions from the Huaihe River flood-control headquarters.

Local authorities must make comprehensive arrangements in using flood-control projects, including reservoirs, gate dams, spillways and flood retention basins, he said.

He urged greater efforts to build irrigation and conservancy projects, calling it essential to enhance the ability of flood control and prevention along the Huaihe River, one of the flood-prone rivers in China.

Floods in China this year had left 742 people dead and 367 missing as of Friday, according to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

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