, YILIANG, Yunnan, Oct 7- Premier Wen Jiabao has called for local governments to take more precautions against possible disasters and make greater efforts to handle safety-related issues, especially those concerning children.
Wen made the call Friday after visiting the site of a landslide that occurred Thursday in the village of Zhenhe in Yiliang county, southwest China’s Yunnan Province.
The landslide killed 18 primary school students and one villager.
Wen presented a bouquet for the victims and gave his condolences to their families, saying that governments at all levels must prioritize the safety of schools and students while carrying out reconstruction.
Wen said the government should learn from the landslide that disaster-prevention efforts must be carefully carried out in mountainous regions with complicated geological conditions.
Nothing can be left to chance when it comes to safety of the people, especially children, Wen said, adding that the local government should thoroughly check every residence to find potential safety risks.
After taking a flight from Beijing to Yiliang on Friday, Wen and accompanying officials took a six-hour ride on a rough and dangerous mountain road to arrive at the remote village.
The victims’ families were each given 20,000 yuan (3,160 U.S. dollars) in accordance with compensatory measures enacted after multiple earthquakes hit the county in early September.
The trip marks Wen’s second visit to Yiliang since early September. He previously visited the area on Sept. 8, just one day after several earthquakes hit the county, killing 81 people.
After listening to reports on the causes of the landslide, Wen warned the local government that an earthquake might trigger a series of geological disasters in the near future.
Wen told two villagers who lost their children in the disaster that he came to the site to mourn the victims and will forever remember them.
The students who were buried in the landslide were attending school during the ongoing National Day holiday to make up classes that were missed due to the September quakes, local authorities said.
On his way back to Yiliang, Wen asked the local government to prevent secondary disasters after the landslide and properly resettle the survivors so they can make it through the winter comfortably.
While visiting a resettlement site on Saturday, Wen encouraged the 630 people living there to help each other and overcome their difficulties.
Wen said all reconstruction must be finished before the end of June next year, adding that strict standards must be used to ensure that the new buildings are safe.