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Army donates 10 mln yuan to snow-hit Sichuan
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The General Armament Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has donated 10 million yuan (1.4 million U.S. dollars) to the southwest Sichuan Province for disaster relief efforts in snow-hit areas.

The funds will be distributed to Luzhou and Yibin cities and Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, via the Provincial Civil Affairs Department, said Major General Hao Jianchang, deputy director of the Political Department of the PLA General Armament Department.

Hao, addressing a donation-giving ceremony in Chengdu, the provincial capital, said on Wednesday PLA officers and soldiers had fought the disaster in the affected areas as hard as in the battlefield. He hoped the funds would be helpful for the local relief and rebuilding efforts.

According to sources, the Provincial Charity Federation of Sichuan initiated a program asking local people of different circles to donate money and goods to the victims. So far, the donations have reached 14.7 million yuan.

Like a dozen other provinces in the southern and eastern parts of the country, part of Sichuan also experienced lingering bad weather since mid-January.

Heavy snow and freezing rain left 107 dead and caused over 100 billion yuan in economic loss in the affected provinces.

In the past month, tens of thousands of soldiers have been sent to the snow-hit areas to help restore jammed traffic, repair fallen electrical towers and to maintain order in crowded public places such as railway stations.

(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2008)

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