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Yunnan sets aside $11.37b to rebuild county devastated by earthquake

Updated: Aug 15,2014 4:14 PM     China Daily

Villagers in Qingshan, Yunnan province, present fruit to a group of armed police who finished their disaster-relief tasks in the earthquake-hit region, at a farewell ceremony on Aug 14, 2014. [Photo/Zhang Guangyu for China Daily]

Yunnan province plans to spend 70 billion yuan ($11.37 billion) over the next three years on rebuilding quake-hit Ludian county.

The massive investment means that standards of living, as well as the economy and social conditions, will soon recover or even reach levels higher than existed before the quake, said the Yunnan Development and Reform Commission.

The money will be used to build houses, improve livelihood, relieve poverty, develop infrastructure, deal with any future disasters and encourage industries that reflect the local culture, according to the commission.

The housing renewal project will be completed in phases, China News Service reported.

Damaged houses will be made safe by Chinese New Year in 2015 (Feb 19), and homes that need to be replaced will be demolished by the end of September. Construction of new houses will be completed by the end of September 2017.

The magnitude-6.5 earthquake on Aug 3 killed 615 people, disrupted the lives of 1 million more and caused estimated losses of 61 billion yuan.

Li Jiheng, governor of Yunnan, said priority would be given to searching for buried remains, healing the wounded, providing the basic needs of survivors, clearing ruined buildings, maintaining transportation and preventing secondary disasters.

The commission said it has received an emergency fund of 200 million yuan from the central government. The money is earmarked for quake-relief engineering projects such as restoring water supplies, repairing and building roads and restarting public services, China News Services reported.

Guo Anfei in Kunming and Chen Hong and Wu Qiong in Shenzhen contributed to this story.