About 120,000 people in Qingchuan County of Sichuan Province have lost their homes and fields after the May 12 earthquake, said county officials, Tianfu Morning Post reported today.
Chen Zhengyong, the head of Qingchuan said in a government news conference that the 8.0-magnitude earthquake and numerous aftershocks have made towns such as Magong and Shiba no longer suitable for living. The strongest aftershock of magnitude 6.4 was centered in Qingchuan.
According to the report, Chen said the county's reconstruction plan will be worked out in August. Eight towns are expected to be relocated. He said rebuilding in the same locations will cost too much in some cases and that other towns are simply no longer suitable.
Experts from Sichuan Province and Sichuan University have begun to work on Qingchuan's rebuilding plan. The plan will focus on environmental protection, building stronger infrastructural facilities and recovering industries, the report said.
Li Haosheng, Secretary of the Qingchuan Party Committee said Qingchuan is now speeding up the construction of temporary homes. By the end of this month, 56,000 residential houses will be finished. Schools and hospitals will be completed by July 25 to ensure they open on August 1, the report said.
The county has allocated 0.5 kilograms of food and a 10 yuan (US$1.4) subsidy per day to earthquake victims. Roads in 105 villages have reopened and another 31 are expected to reopen by Monday, the report said.
Qingchuan is in the Longmen Mountain earthquake belt.
(Shanghai Daily June 26, 2008)