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China to Build 1.5 Mln Make-shift Houses for Quake-affected People

China will build 1.5 million make-shift houses in the quake-stricken Sichuan Province, which are expected to endure at least three years, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Jiang Weixin said on Saturday.

The houses, offering 20 square meters floor space each, should be made of anti-quake and environment-friendly materials and equipped with lighting facilities, Jiang said at a meeting held by the State Council's earthquake relief headquarters in the provincial capital.

Supportive public facilities such as schools and medical service should also be set up, he added.

The unaffected provinces in the quake were required to provide aid to a designated stricken area in Sichuan. Jiang said the unaffected provinces or municipalities should appoint skilled builders and transport the makeshift houses to the quake-hit areas as soon as possible.

The 8.0-magnitude quake, centered in Wenchuan County of Sichuan, destroyed 5.46 million residence rooms and severely damaged 5.93 million rooms in the province, according to Huang Yanrong, vice governor of Sichuan.

The buildings in some towns and county seats in the worst-hit areas were almost leveled. More than 11 million people have been left homeless in the disaster, Huang said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2008)

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