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Nation puts focus on prevention of ocean disasters

Peng Yining and Liu Xiaoli
Updated: May 13,2016 8:41 AM     China Daily

As a growing maritime power, China is increasingly paying attention to the prevention of ocean disasters, an official said on May 12.

“Building a strong maritime power is based on preventing disasters and reducing damage,” said Liu Cigui, governor of Hainan province.

Liu spoke on China’s Disaster Prevention and Reducing Damage Day, which fell on May 12, the anniversary of the earthquake that hit Sichuan in 2008 and killed more than 80,000 people.

As an island province, Hainan is greatly affected by maritime disasters, Liu said, adding that Typhoon Wilson that hit the island in 2014 killed more than 60 people and caused huge financial losses.

China established Sansha city in 2012, with its government seat on Yongxing Island, to administer the Xisha, Zongsha and Nansha islands and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea.

In 2013, the country launched the Belt and Road Initiative.

“All of those projects depend on a safe maritime environment,” said Liu. “Hainan, as a service provider and rescue base, has the responsibility to prevent disasters and reduce damage.”

Luo Peishi, deputy director of a maritime environment monitoring station in Sanya, said that monitoring and forecasting are getting more important. “The best way of reducing damage is being well prepared before disasters happen,” he said.