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Quake-affected people to spend winter in new houses
( 2003-11-30 10:15) (Xinhua)

Farmers in Bachu County, in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, have all moved into warm houses rebuilt after a serious quake on Feb. 24, and all schoolchildren have classes in new schoolrooms, according to county officials.

They added that the county government has spent 150 million yuan (about 18 million US dollars) in rebuilding 23,000 houses, and 62 million yuan on the restoration of 89 schools.

On Feb. 24, a devastating earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale jolted the Kashi region in western Xinjiang, killing 268 people and leveling thousands of buildings to the ground.

Memet, a farmer whose house was destroyed in the quake, now has a new house with four rooms. He invested about 3,000 yuan in it, and the government gave around 10,000 yuan. "It can stand a severe earthquake," he said.

Despite the disaster, the county has had a good harvest of cotton this year, and the rising price of cotton on the market will also benefit the affected farmers a lot. According to the county government, the average net income of each farmer is likely to exceed 1,500 yuan, which is 300 yuan more than last year.

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