Debris to Be Cleared in Quake-hit Town by Year End
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Workers would be able to completely remove earthquake debris by the year end in Gyegu Town, epicenter of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake on April 14, which left almost 3,000 people dead or missing and more than 120,000 homeless.
A spokesman with the government of Yushu Prefecture, which administrates the township, said Saturday about 80 percent of the debris had been removed by far.
"Some of the reconstruction work had to be suspended during the freezing winter, while we take advantage of the time to give more manpower to accelerate the debris clearance," he said.
Gyegu covers 808 square km and sits on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with an average elevation of 4,000 meters. Temperatures easily drop to freezing at night during the winter.
Workers had began clearing debris five days after the quake struck. They have removed 3.7 million cubic meters of debris and dismantled 484 quake-damaged buildings in the township.
Experts estimated the amount of remaining debris at 900,000 cubic meters.
As the debris being cleared, a major housing reconstruction project for survivors of the earthquake had started in September. The Denyingge residential project covering 47 hectares is the largest home rebuilding project since the quake.
All the wood-and-earth houses in the former Denyingge village collapsed in the quake. The new homes will be two-story, Tibetan-style houses.
Kuang Yong, head of the Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said they had adopted designs to withstand quakes and other natural disasters.
The rehousing project will take up to three years, so most of the homeless would be temporarily sheltered in quilted tents this winter.
(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2010)