Authorities must report natural disasters in a timely and exact manner, and those who conceal the truth will be punished, a ministerial official said August 1.
Authorities must be aware that any lies will be exposed on the Internet and through new media, as the public now actively participate in disaster relief and in the supervision of officials, said Minister of Civil Affairs Li Liguo at a meeting.
Once major natural disasters such as floods, mudslides and landslides occur, local civil affairs authorities should quickly assess the situation and release all relevant information, Li said.
They should not wait to be forced to do so under pressure from the public nor be late and inaccurate in the information released, the minister said.
Late last month, the mayor of Xingtai City in north China's Hebei Province apologized for inadequate response to and late, inaccurate reporting of floods that killed at least 25 in the city.
(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2016)