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News on China's Post-Quake Reconstruction

Compiled by The Chinese Embassy in Australia

May 27, 2008

A) Chinese Party leadership underscores post-quake reconstruction in quake areas

According to Xinhua News, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held a meeting on Monday May 26 presided over by the General Secretary Hu Jintao and called for more efforts to focus on resettlement and post-quake reconstruction while continuing efforts to search for survivors.

    The committee hailed nationwide and international efforts in quake relief work for the past two weeks, but stressed that quake relief was still at a crucial point, and that government would stick to its "people-first" policy.

       The committee called for more experienced medical staff to be sent to the quake areas to tend to the injured, along with sufficient medical supplies, tents and makeshift accommodation, which are urgently needed in the quake zones.

    Local authorities should mount all-out efforts to prevent disease outbreaks in all affected villages, and guard against quake-induced disasters, aftershocks and flooding.

    Transportation, telecommunications and power and water supplies in the quake zones must resume as soon as possible, the committee said, while livelihoods should be secured for orphans, the widowed elderly with no children and the handicapped who lost relatives.

    Schools in the quake zones should resume classes if conditions allowed, and psychological treatment should be offered when needed.

    It ordered government officials to "stand on the front line of disaster relief work", and to publish timely progress reports in rescue missions and disaster relief work.

    The committee urged the restoration of production should be planned, and the whole country must mobilize to help with reconstruction.

"The country should maintain economic development and social stability while engaging in quake relief work. Preparation for the Olympics and the Paralympics must be carried out at the same time," the committee agreed.

B) The rescued residents face new possible danger of flood from barrier lakes

On Sunday May 25, the disaster area was affected by a strong tremor of aftershock measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale in Qingchuan County of Sichuan Province. It devastated the planned flood discharge operation of the barrier lakes with further landslide that blocked roads.

Tangjiashan , one of the 35 barrier lakes formed by landslides after the quake in the area, is at high risk of bursting and flooding the thousands of people in downstream areas. The lake is now holding more than 128 million cubic meters of water and may cause a devastating flooding if the barriers burst. In order to defuse the danger of a major flooding, 1,800 armed police and PLA soldiers walked on foot to the lake area on Sunday, each of them carried 10 kilograms of dynamite and planned to blast away its landslide barriers.

The rescue team made 3 emergency plans to dig out the sluices, and at least 50,000 cubic meters of debris blockage would have to be removed. Due to lack of tents, the soldiers had to sleep outdoors on the blockage at night. On Monday, helicopters airlifted professionals and materials for the operation. Besides a Mig-26 helicopter succeeded in transporting a large bulldozer to the site. By 7:00PM Monday, more than 10 diggers and 40+ tons of materials including tents, drinking water, food and gasoline had been airlifted to the site.

More than 30,000 residents downstream of Tangjiashan lake have been evacuated to higher ground. Plans have been made to address the risks in about 479 damaged embankments which totals 686 kilometers.

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