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Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Latest News
UPDATED: May 25, 2008  
Chinese Premier Visits Zipingpu Dam in Quake-hit Sichuan

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Saturday morning visited the Zipingpu dam, over the Yangtze River's main tributary of Minjiang River in quake-hit Sichuan Province.

The dam, near the quake epicenter of Wenchuan County, is structurally stable and safe despite some minor damages, according to experts' evaluation after the quake.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R Front) speaks during an interview with journalists from at home and abroad, in Yingxiu Town of Wenchuan County, southwest China's Sichuan Province, May 24, 2008, during his second inspection tour of quake-hit areas in Sichuan after May 12 when the 8.0-magnitude quake happened. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

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"The safety of the dam demonstrates that its design and construction are qualified," said the premier. "We need to draw helpful experience from the quake."

In Yingxiu town of Wenchuan, Wen met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, expressing gratitude to him for the organization's help in China's quake relief.

On Saturday afternoon, Wen called on two injured primary schoolers, Zhao Qisong and Wang Jiaqi, at a hospital in Chengdu, the provincial capital.

The premier had been present when rescuers tried to release the kids from debris on May 13, the second day after the massive quake, and he could not hold back his tears at the misfortune of the two.

At Zhao's bedside on Saturday, Wen asked the nine-year-old if he still remembered the day of the rescue. "Did you hear my calling you? I asked you to hold on," Wen said. "I've been concerned about you since."

Getting the reply of a quite brisk "yes", the premier told him not to forget the earthquake for his whole life. "Learn the lesson from life, and after all the difficulties you will be a better man."

He also praised seven-year-old Wang "a very strong girl", who suffered from a nose fracture in the quake.

Wen Friday night presided over a meeting of the earthquake relief headquarters under the State Council, discussing epidemic prevention and reconstruction works after the quake.

Measures should be taken to ensure enough epidemic prevention experts to be sent to every village in quake-hit areas, enough medicine for epidemic prevention, cut of pollution sources, and food and drinking water safety, the meeting said.

"It's an urgent task currently to ensure no big epidemic after the disaster," it said.

A special group, comprising officials of the National Development and Reform Commission, the Sichuan provincial government, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and other relevant departments, would be established to plan for the rebuilding work, the meeting decided.

The general reconstruction plan should be drawn up within three months after research, assessment and site-choosing by a quake experts' committee, it said.

Wen started his second trip to the quake-battered zone on Thursday.

(Xinhua News Agency May 24, 2008)

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