China will step up flood control efforts this year as extreme weather will likely become more frequent, the Minister of Water Resources E Jingping said Tuesday.
The country will enhance flood forecast and early warning, and better manage and mobilize its flood control facilities, he said during a "passage interview" for ministers on the sidelines of the annual legislative session.
"We rely on over 98,000 reservoirs, 98 state-level detention and retarding basins, and over 300,000 km of levees to guard against floods and reduce disaster losses," the minister said.
The Ministry of Water Resources will enhance coordination with the Ministry of Emergency Management to combat floods, he added.
Extreme weather events are expected to be more frequent this year, resulting in more floods and droughts, the minister said, citing recent forecasts by the China Meteorological Administration. "The Yangtze River is likely to suffer heavy flooding this year."
"This year's flood control must not be taken lightly, and the Ministry of Water Resources must be even more cautious and conscientious," he said. "We must do our utmost this year to keep the rivers and the people safe."