Vice Premier Urges Quake Relief Efforts to Focus on Resettlement, Reconstruction
    2010-04-24 21:51:45     Xinhua      Web Editor: Liu Donghui
 

Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu (2nd R) visits a woman injured in earthquake in Gyegu Town of quake-hit Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, northwest China's Qinghai Province, April 23, 2010. [Photo: Xinhua/Liu Weibing]
 
Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu Saturday stressed that the quake relief work in northwest China's Qinghai Province should focus on resettling survivors and the area's reconstruction.

"The focus should now be shifted from searching the quake victims and treating the injured and building temporary shelters to resettling survivors, restoring social order and carrying out reconstruction," Hui said at a meeting held Friday night in Qinghai.

Saturday was the last day for rescuers to comb the quake-hit Yushu region in a bid to find survivors buried underneath the rubble.

The death toll from the 7.1-magnitude earthquake on April 14 climbed to 2,203 as of 5 p.m. Saturday, with 73 people still missing, more than 12,000 injured, tens of thousands of residential buildings flattened and huge economic losses.

During his visits to two hard-hit towns Friday and Saturday, Hui said the quake relief work had been remarkably successful particularly regarding the search for those buried, the treatment and transfer of the injured, and the deliver of basic necessities to survivors.

He also commended the work to help resume classes, restore traffic and communications as well as water and electricity supplies, the evaluation of quake losses and post-quake reconstruction.

Hui mentioned that people in the religious circles had played an important role in the quake rescue and relief work, urging all ethnic groups to help together in the reconstruction work.

The restoration of social order included reestablishing commercial and financial service networks, road transportation links, schools and classes, agricultural and animal husbandry production, among other things, according to Hui.

The timetable and other details for reconstruction projects must be outlined as soon as possible, Hui said.

The orderly distribution and supervision of quake donations must be strengthened, Hui said, adding that quake survivor' mental health must be looked after.

The vice premier also stressed that hygiene and disease control must be improved and that the prevention and control of plague and rabies was a priority.

Hui's morale-raising visit came as the family of 18-year-old Tsering Lhamo and many other survivors prepared for resettlement from tents into newly completed makeshift houses.

Already packing for his new home, Tsering Lhamo said he could not wait to go to school again.

"Although some family members have passed away in the quake, my parents support me in continuing my study for a better future," he said.

Business activities gradually went back to normal in the hardest-hit Gyegu Town with grocery stores reopened, and post offices and banks gearing up for reopening in a few days.

Although about to be resettled into a new makeshift house built by the government, Wu Zhiqiang and his Tibetan wife count on themselves to build a new home.

"We can build a house entirely by ourselves, only if the government could provide building materials," said Wu who moved to Yushu from Sichuan Province more than a decade ago.

"There will be hope as long as we work together," Wu said.

The government announced Saturday plans to repair all the damaged 87 monasteries that would accommodate more than 8,000 monks now living in makeshift tents.

"Such repairs will be one of the priorities in our quake relief and rebuilding efforts this year," said Leshi, chief of the ethnic and religious affairs committee in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu.
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