2 1/2 years after Sichuan quake, construction of new Beichuan county seat completed

20:58, September 25, 2010      

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Construction of the new county seat of Beichuan in southwest China's Sichuan Province finished Saturday, almost two and a half years after the old seat was leveled in a devastating earthquake.

The new county seat of Beichuan, China's only autonomous county for the Qiang ethnic minority, is located about 23 km south of the old county seat.

The reconstruction cost 9.55 billion yuan (1.4 billion U.S. dollars), of which 4.4 billion yuan came from the eastern province of Shandong.

The public facilities, including schools, hospitals and water plants, have started operating.

About 40,000 residents are expected move into the 4-square-kilometer county seat by the end of the year.

The county government estimates the new county seat will expand to 7 square kilometers and a population of 70,000 by 2020.

An 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan and neighboring Gansu and Shaanxi provinces in May 2008, leaving 87,000 people dead or missing.

In the hard-hit Beichuan, nearly 20,000 people, including 16,000 in the county seat, were killed or are still listed as missing.

Source: Xinhua


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