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Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Latest News
UPDATED: May 28, 2008  
Quake-hit Towns to Be Relocated for Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation in China's quake-hit zone will take a long time as quite a number of towns and villages need to move to new sites, said a report issued by the earthquake relief headquarters of the State Council here Tuesday.

As the relief work has moved into a new stage, the headquarter plans to pick up preparation for rehabilitation and set up a team in charge of it, the report said.

The team will start evaluating local geological conditions and selecting new locations.

A general rehabilitation plan is to be worked out soon and detailed implementation schemes and preferential policies will follow it, according to the report.

The government will take account of protecting culture heritage sites and quake ruins with research significance as well as investigate the damaged public buildings.

The rehabilitation fund will come from various channels including the government budget and public donations, the report said.

The report also listed several top challenges in present relief work. It remains hard to meet quake victims' daily needs including foods, drinking water, medical and educational service, especially housing, it said.

As the summer and rainy season are drawing near, the relief task force faces great challenge to maintain public hygiene and prevent epidemic outbreak, it said.

A number of reservoirs and dams were damaged by different degrees, posting potential threats to local residents, and a number of quake lakes, formed by landslides that blocked rivers after the quake, may cause serious disasters at any time, the report said.

Poor condition of roads in worst-hit areas added more difficulties to relief work and it is very hard to carry relief material in some remote villages and take the injured out.

Psychological trauma also troubles many quake witnesses and families who lost their beloved as many orphans, disabled and elderly people will need assistance, the report said.

The 8.0-magnitude earthquake jolted northwestern part of Sichuan on May 12.

The confirmed death toll has reached 67,183 by Tuesday noon and a considerable number of the 20,790 missing persons were feared dead, the report said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 28, 2008)

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