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Quake Reconstruction Panel Emphasizes Livelihoods, Environment

As a 6.1-magnitude aftershock hit southwest China's Sichuan Province, the country's quake relief headquarters held its 24th meeting on reconstruction here on Tuesday, reiterating its dual focuses: livelihoods and the environment.

At the meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, the headquarters urged giving priority to the basic needs of the survivors of the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province. It also promised to improve the local environment step by step, ensuring "fast and sound" reconstruction.

It vowed to spend three years ensuring several goals: that every family has a house; every household has an income; every person has insurance, and that the infrastructure, economy and environment all improve.

A special team on reconstruction planning was set up jointly by the national Development and Reform Commission and the governments of the quake-hit Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.

Since May 23, the team has been continuously touring the quake zone and collecting opinions from local officials for a final scheme.

The plan involves 19.87 million people in 51 counties.

The earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale occurred in Qingchuan County at 5:49 PM on Tuesday, leaving one dead and 23 others injured. On Friday afternoon, an aftershock of the same magnitude hit Pingwu and Beichuan counties in Sichuan, injuring 231 people.

(Xinhua News Agency August 6, 2008)

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