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Sichuan's meteorology facilities to be rebuilt
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About 520 million yuan (US$76.5 million) will be spent to rebuild the meteorology facilities in the areas devastated by the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

More than 105 meteorological centers were damaged in the quake, and the Ministry of Finance said 3 years would be needed to upgrade the weather forecast service in Sichuan.

The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has already asked meteorological centers in southeast China to help revamp meteorological services in Sichuan through funds or technology support, CMA Director Zheng Guoguang said at a press conference in Chengdu, provincial capital of Sichuan.

The move has helped Sichuan's meteorological network to recover, Zhao Guangzhong, director of the Sichuan provincial meteorology bureau, said. But it would still take a long time for the network to function normally.

The 8-magnitude quake, whose epicenter was in Wenchuan county killed more than 69,000 people and left 374,000 injured and millions homeless. About 18,000 people are still missing.

More than 31,000 aftershocks have been recorded, with the strongest being 6.4 magnitude.

The quake has changed the environment and topography of the area, and an unusually rainy, cold winter hampered reconstruction.

Provincial authorities plan to spend at least 3 trillion yuan on reconstruction and relief work by 2010, Wei Hong, executive vice-governor, told a press conference in Beijing on Nov 21.

(China Daily December 3, 2008)

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An earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale jolted Sichuan Province at 2:28 PM on May 12.

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