China to tackle safety risks after year of accidents, disasters

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Thursday it plans a three-year campaign to tackle problems hampering response times during disasters and accidents including production safety lapses in sectors like mining.

Last year, China was hit by a number of deadly natural disasters, mining accidents, fires and gas explosions that called into question safety protocals throughout the country.

The emergency management ministry said on its Wechat social media account that mines should investigate hidden factors that cause disasters in order to mitigate major risks.

There was also a need for stricter measures to prevent floods and tackle earthquakes, it said, urging a greater focus on in-depth analysis of shortcomings affecting public security. The ministry’s Wechat post said the campaign would begin this year.

“Disaster prevention, mitigation and relief efforts should be strengthened and mechanisms strengthened,” the ministry said.

The ministry’s statement followed a two-day National Emergency Management Work Conference in Beijing which it said focused on major safety risks across many scenarios.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by William Maclean)