Chinese authorities warned Tuesday of serious threats to drinking water in earthquake-hit areas and called on local officials to take precautions.
Dead bodies and chemical waste ''pose great threats to the safety of drinking water,'' the ministry of environmental protection said in a directive quoted by the official Xinhua news agency.
It said that people should not use water sources from buildings hit by the earthquake.
Water plants in the area should also enhance checks and sterilisation procedures, it said.
Authorities have warned of the danger of disease after the May 12 earthquake, which left more than 66,000 dead or missing and some five million homeless.