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UPDATED: May 9, 2011 NO. 19 MAY 12, 2011
A Miracle in Sichuan

On May 12, 2008, a devastating earthquake hit Wenchuan County in southwest China's Sichuan Province, severely damaging the local economy and disrupting the people's lives. The 8.0-magnitude earthquake was the most destructive earthquake with the largest quake-affected area of the past 60 years in China.

NO. 21, 2008

NO. 22, 2008

Immediately after the earthquake, reporters from Beijing Review rushed to the disaster area to record the disaster and the relief work in pictures and articles. Three years later, our reporters revisited the quake-hit area and were impressed by the dramatic changes that have taken place there. The ruins left by the quake had been totally replaced by entirely new roads and buildings. Smiles are appearing again on the faces of the people who now have found new hope for life.

By the end of March 2011, 92.4 percent of the 30,000 projects included in the state level post-disaster reconstruction plan had been completed. A total of 787.1 billion yuan ($121 billion) has been invested in reconstruction projects. Of the 13,647 provincial level reconstruction projects, 81.6 percent had been completed, with an investment of 105.2 billion yuan ($16.2 billion). People's basic living conditions and economic development level are better than they were before the quake. Mobilizing resources throughout the whole country for reconstruction, Chinese people developed a unique reconstruction method within three years. One month after the earthquake, the State Council carried out China's first regulation on reconstruction in a specific region following a disaster. The State Council also released a plan asking 19 provinces and municipal cities to assist the quake-hit regions with at least 1 percent of their financial income for three years.

Support from these provinces and cities has provided solid backing for people in the disaster area. In accordance with the principle that one province helps one county heavily hit by the quake, 19 provinces, like Guangdong, Shandong and Zhejiang, took action immediately, carring out overall assistance, especially in infrastructure and housing reconstruction.

Within a year, more than 3.5 million houses damaged in the earthquake had been repaired; and 1.5 million houses in rural areas were rebuilt in one-and-a-half years. Two years after the quake, the reconstruction of housing for 260,000 families in urban areas was completed. Most damaged schools and medical institutions have been rebuilt. The reconstruction of more than 90 percent of the 4,847.8-km damaged highways was completed.

What has happened in Sichuan after the earthquake is really a miracle.

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