China’s quake-hit region recovers

A 6.5-magnitude quake killed more than 610 people and injured thousands more last year in southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

One year on, hundreds of survivors mourned the deceased and prayed for a better tomorrow.

These are the survivors of the tragic earthquake that killed more than 610 people one year ago.

They came to the Ludian County’s central square on Monday night, paying tribute to those who lost their lives.

It wasn’t easy as many of those gone were their beloved ones.

Reconstruction sites in Longtoushan Township, the epicenter of the quake, roared as heavy machines worked to rebuild what was lost.

Party secretary of the township government Li Shanyun said they don’t want to remind people of their sadness and speeding up reconstruction is the best commemoration of the dead.

According to government plans, Yunnan will invest some 4.4 billion U.S. dollars on nearly 3,200 reconstruction projects.

Residential reconstruction will be completed by the end of this year and public infrastructure reconstruction will be finished by the end of next year.

Housing consolidation has been completed and more than 98 percent of the collapsed houses are being built.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): LI SHANYUN, Party secretary, Longtoushan Township government
“Quake-proof is our top concern in housing consolidation. Our houses are steel-structured, which is relatively safer and quicker to build.”

A brand new Longquan Middle School, where the quake rescue headquarters was based last year, is expected to be completed before Aug. 20.

“The new school will be ready for the new semester that begins on Sept. 1. ”

Engineers say the five-story compound is made of steel and is able to resist major earthquakes.

For Chang Chenshu and Li Shiqiong, whose babies were born just two days after the deadly quake, they know their lives in the tent will be soon over and lives ahead are new and hopeful.

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