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Students stranded by quake resettled

By HUANG ZHILING | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-05 09:07

Starting a new term can be a tough time for any student-especially when it's at an entirely new school 40 kilometers away because the last one was destroyed in an earthquake.

Huang Siyu, 11, was among 215 students who were transferred to Jiuzhaigou No 3 Primary School at the end of last month ahead of the fall semester.

Zhangzha Primary School, the school they used to attend in Jiuzhaigou county, Sichuan province, was severely damaged on Aug 8 after the town was struck by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

To ensure they could return to lessons, the county education bureau asked Jiuzhaigou No 3 Primary to provide eight classrooms and 28 dormitory rooms for the stranded students as well as 43 teachers.

"We all arrived here on Aug 31 to start the new term," Huang said. "As the new school is far from home, we will eat and live here."

Wang Yaocheng, principal of Jiuzhaigou No 3 Primary School, said he was informed 15 days before the arrival of students and teachers from Zhangzha that his school would host them until their school is rebuilt.

"Before their arrival, we prepared new quilts and bed sheets," he said.

An inspection of all the schools in Jiuzhaigou found 23 had been damaged in the quake, according to Wan Yong, an information officer with the county government.

Students at 22 schools were able to start the fall semester in their own classrooms, but the repairs to Zhangzha Primary could not be completed in time, he said.

Sichuan ranks fourth among the Chinese regions hit most by earthquakes, behind only the Tibet autonomous region, Taiwan and Yunnan province, according to Chen Huizhong, a senior researcher with the China Earthquake Administration's Institute of Geophysics.

Since the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, which killed 69,226 people and left 17,923 missing, the southwestern province has experienced four earthquakes above magnitude 6.0.

A post-quake reconstruction plan will be completed at the end of this month to guide the reconstruction of Jiuzhaigou, according to Song Tao, an information officer for the Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture government, which administers the county.

Two days after the quake on Aug 8, the famous Nuorilang Waterfall collapsed. The waterfall had been the widest in China, measuring 24.5 meters tall and 270 meters wide.

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