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China Carries out Geological Reconnaissance for Quake Zone Rebuilding

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China is carrying out a geological reconnaissance for the rebuilding of the quake-hit township of Gyegu in northwestern Qinghai Province.

The framework plan is to turn the quake-devastated township into "a plateau ecological tourist city," according to the provincial government of Qinghai on Monday.

A team of 16 experts from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the provincial housing bureau were conducting a field study of the quake zone. They were expected to submit an appraisal of the quake devastation to the ministry by April 26, said a spokesman with the provincial government.

The government spokesman did not give further details.

Gyegu, also known as Jiegu, is the seat of the Yushu prefecture government. The town has a population of about 100,000, including permanent residents and migrants.

Zou Ming, director of the disaster relief department of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said over the weekend that authorities would refer to a geological reconnaissance report to decide whether to rebuild Gyegu at a new location or rebuild on the ruins.

Two aircraft sent by the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping have collected digital images and radar data of the quake zone to help the reconstruction work.

The Tibetan Prefecture of Yushu is where three major Chinese rivers' headwaters are, and the place is referred to as "Sanjiangyuan" in Chinese.

At least 1,706 were killed and 256 others still missing from the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that hit the prefecture Wednesday, according to Sunday's official tally.

(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2010)

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