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$37 Mln Earmarked for Quake-hit Jiangxi
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China has set aside 300 million yuan (US$37 million) for quake-hit areas in east China's Jiangxi Province, a central government official said here Thursday.

"This is one of the largest sum of allocations provided by the central government for a disaster-hit area in recent years," said Wang Zhenyao, director of Disaster Relief Department under the Ministry of Civil Affairs, at a press conference held here Thursday.

An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale hit Jiujiang and Ruichang cities in Jiangxi Province on Nov. 26 last year, killing 13 people and destroying many buildings. The central government immediately sent 100 million yuan (US$12.5 million) to the area for disaster relief.

On the eve of the New Year, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited quake-hit areas and promised another 200 million yuan (US$25 million) from the central government for after-quake reconstructions.

"The quality of the houses must be ensured," Wen said during the visit, asking local government to give priority to rebuilding the campus.

The quake has caused about 3 billion yuan (US$370.37 million) of economic losses and left about 100,000 people homeless. The municipal government appealed for more financial support when rebuilding residences and shelters to help the massive number of homeless get through the winter.

(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2006)

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