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Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Latest News
UPDATED: May 21, 2008  
China Pledges More Tents for Millions Left Homeless by Quake

China will procure and deliver more tents and awnings to quake-affected provinces this month and in June.

This was announced at the 11th meeting of the State Council's earthquake relief headquarters presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday.

The meeting planned to collect 40,000 tents to distribute in disaster areas before the end of May and send 30,000 tents each day afterwards along with a total of 800,000 awnings in June.

Tents and awnings have been reported as the most wanted materials by more than 110,000 military and civilian rescuers after the major quake, measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale, ravaged southwest China's Sichuan Province on May 12.

Vice Minister of Civil Affairs Jiang Li reiterated at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that tents were still badly needed.

The quake has left an estimated 5 million homeless and Jiang advised them to seek temporary shelter with relatives or friends.

Tent makers in other parts of the country have been busy producing the needed materials and some manufacturers in east China's Jiangsu Province postponed production for all other orders.

All forms of transport have been told to give priority to tent and awning shipments.

Wen pledged to transport 6,000 sets of temporary buildings to the quake areas in the next two days, 250,000 sets by the end of June and 1 million sets within three months.

He also urged the Water Resources Ministry to send experts to dams and reservoirs in quake-hit areas for 24-hour patrols since the weather forecast is for heavy rains in the next 48 hours.

(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2008)

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