Xi's instructions have guided all-out efforts in flood-stricken northern areas
China has enhanced rescue and relief efforts in flood-stricken regions after heavy rainfall brought by Typhoon Doksuri hit Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province in North China, as well as parts of Northeast China.
In recent days, flooding in those regions stranded residents, washed away bridges and highways, killed at least 30 people and forced tens of thousands of people out of their homes.
With people's lives and property in mind, the Communist Party of China Central Committee, with General Secretary Xi Jinping at the core, has put people first in fighting the disaster.
In July, Xi had made an instruction on flood prevention and disaster relief work, emphasizing the need to strengthen coordination, enhance consultation and assessment, improve monitoring and early warning capabilities, and prioritize the protection of people's lives and property while minimizing losses.
During his recent inspection tour in Sichuan province from July 25 to 27, Xi, who is also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, called for Party committees and governments at various levels to shoulder the responsibilities for flood prevention and disaster relief. He also emphasized the need to carry out relief work scientifically, prevent secondary disasters and minimize casualties and property loss.
Unprecedented torrential rain struck Beijing from July 29 to Wednesday, causing severe flooding in Beijing's Mentougou and Fangshan districts. More than 2,800 passengers aboard three trains were stranded due to the rain and flooding.
The stranded passengers had a difficult time. With food shortages, limited drinking water, interrupted communication signals and a drop in temperature, compounded by roads being cut off due to heavy rainfall, supplies could only be delivered by foot through muddy terrain and difficult conditions.
Learning about the situation, Xi expressed his concern about the safety of the stranded passengers and made an important instruction immediately.
"Local authorities and relevant departments must get communication with the trains and make every effort to organize rescue operations, provide food and medicine, and transfer those who need to be moved to ensure the safety of the stranded passengers," he said.
On Tuesday, Xi made new instructions on flood prevention and disaster relief work, calling for full efforts in the search for and rescue of missing and stranded individuals, providing medical treatment for the injured, offering assistance to the families of the deceased, and minimizing casualties.
"As a modern metropolis, Beijing must withstand this test," he said.
Thanks to the concerted efforts, the last group of stranded passengers at the Anjiazhuang and Luopoling stations in Mentougou district were evacuated to safety on Thursday.
Zhao Yang, an attendant on the stranded K396 train, said, "We were able to return safely because of the strength given to us by General Secretary Xi Jinping, the CPC Central Committee and the people."
Communications and electricity in disaster-stricken areas have gradually been restored, roads are being reopened, and affected people have been properly resettled. Post-disaster reconstruction work is being carried out intensively.
Putting people first and prioritizing people's lives are principles that Xi has emphasized repeatedly and steadfastly in disaster prevention and relief work.
He urged Party committees and governments at all levels to maintain readiness and perform well in inspections and emergency response work.
Particular attention should be paid to the flooding and rains in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the northeastern region of the country, he said.
In Hebei, 883 townships in 98 counties had been hit by flooding, affecting more than 2.2 million people. The province had sent 3,385 working groups and mobilized materials worth 150 million yuan ($21 million) to assist with rescue and relief efforts as of Friday morning, according to the province's Department of Emergency Management.
On Sunday, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Emergency Management jointly allocated 350 million yuan of central natural disaster relief funds to support flood control and disaster relief efforts in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region as well as other provinces including Heilongjiang and Jilin.
Together with a previous allocation of 170 million yuan, the central government has provided a total of 520 million yuan for disaster relief in these regions.