China vows more new homes for Yushu quake survivors before winter

20:57, June 28, 2010      

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An official with China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said Monday the government will strive to build new homes for the survivors of the earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai Province before winter hits.

Temperatures in the region in Qinghai Province can drop below freezing even in May due to the region's high altitude of more than 4,000 meters.

"We have only four months to carry out the reconstruction and so we are on a very tight schedule," said Fei Zhirong, an NDRC official in charge of development in the west regions.

The NDRC is China's top economic planning body.

"The winter in Yushu is extremely cold. Housing the quake survivors is an enormous and difficult task. Low oxygen levels also pose a difficulty for reconstruction," Fei said during an online interview Monday with, the official website of the Chinese government.

China will spend 32 billion yuan (4.7 billion U.S. dollars) for the reconstruction of Yushu, which is expected to take three years.

Reconstruction of schools and hospitals are priorities, Fei said.

A 7.1-magnitude quake struck Yushu on April 14, killing over 2,200 people and flattening thousands of homes.

Most of the residents of the region are Tibetan.



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