Shouguang begins post-disaster relief work

By Hu Yuwei in Weifang and Yang Sheng in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/24 23:38:40

A villager in Shouguang lifts two piglets out from his flooded home on Thursday. Shouguang, a county-level city in East China's Shandong Province, was hit by its most severe flooding in over 40 years. Photo: VCG

Shouguang, a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Weifang in East China's Shandong Province, has begun post-disaster relief work on Friday, focused on disease control and prevention after it was hit by the most severe flooding in over 40 years.

The Weifang city government said at a press conference on Friday that Weifang has established an emergency response headquarters for disaster relief for communication, disease control and prevention, medical rescue, publicity, supervision and logistics, Shandong Television website reported on Friday.

It said no infectious disease outbreak in Shouguang has been reported, and that the next stage of disaster relief will focus on post-disaster disease prevention.

The major relief measures in the next stage will include "ceaseless detection and disinfection of drinking water; organizing local residents for disinfection work in post-disaster waste, dead animals, flooded buildings, and pest eradication," the city government said.

There are 26 medical teams at disaster zones which provide free medical treatment to 5,325 local residents, reported.

Jitai is a town in Shouguang seriously affected by floods, and the local government is using social media platforms, including Sina Weibo, to request for sewage pumps to drain flooded areas.

Jitai is located in a low-lying area, so this makes most floods around Jitai eventually enter the town, local villagers told the Global Times on Friday, noting that their vegetable greenhouses have been flooded for more than five days.

The floods have also affected livestock animals. The Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday that floods in Shouguang have killed more than 54,700 pigs.

Shouguang is also a major Chinese vegetable production base, which provides vegetables to many provinces and municipal cities, including Beijing.

The floods have seriously damaged vegetable greenhouses, which have led to higher vegetable prices in Shandong Province. Many cities including Beijing have seen a rise in vegetable prices, but experts said the Shouguang floods are not the only reason. They said bad weather in past few weeks has affected the growth, harvest and transport of vegetables, reported. 

Fu Hongliang, the Jitai township government's office director, told the Global Times on Friday that "disease control efforts have begun, and only a few people were infected in our town. Now the problem is the shortage of sewage pumps, so the villagers' vegetable greenhouses remain flooded, which means they cannot resume agriculture production yet."

Fortunately, residence buildings in Jitai town were not affected as much, so the people have a place to live in, but villagers need to wait at least half a month to resume production, Fu said. "The impact on vegetable prices would be short, because once villagers resume production, then they would take about two months to recover their vegetable supply."

The Weifang city government on Thursday told a press conference that 13 people have died from the disaster, and three others are missing. The floods also caused 9.2 billion yuan ($1.34 billion) in property damage and forced the relocation of 170,000 residents.

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