Quake-resistant homes to be built

By Xin Dingding (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-04 06:49

Yunnan Province yesterday launched a 10-year project to reinforce houses in rural areas to withstand the force of destructive earthquakes, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The plan was announced after a strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 struck the old downtown area of Hani and Yi Autonomous County of Ning'er, in Pu'er City, killing three and injuring more than 300.

The provincial government said that it would soon allocate 500 million yuan ($65 million); and estimates that at least 3 billion yuan ($392 million) will be spent for the completion of the project.

A quake in Yunnan Province, which is prone to temblors, is likely to cause more damage and losses than it should, mainly because many homes in rural areas are poorly built.

The project will initially help 166,000 rural households in more than 70 counties.

Eventually, about 1 million poor rural households will benefit, each receiving a subsidy of 3,000 to 5,000 yuan ($392 to 654) for rebuilding homes.

The provincial government has also said that all new houses in rural areas should be quake-proof.

The government said it will strive to make sure all houses in rural areas are able to resist earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 6 by 2020.

From 2001 to 2005, the province experienced 18 destructive earthquakes above the magnitude of 5.

Three of them measured 6 or above, causing 32 deaths, nearly 2,000 injured, and direct losses worth more than 3 billion yuan ($392 million).

Last year alone, Yunnan experienced three quakes above the magnitude of 5, with 24 people killed and 182 injured as well as direct losses of 550 million yuan ($72 million).

(China Daily 06/04/2007 page2)

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