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Yunnan to offer earthquake renovation subsidies

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Yunnan province is planning on spending as much as five billion yuan (US$625 million) over the next decade to assist farmers in rebuilding or strengthening their homes in anticipation of future earthquakes, according to a ChinaGate report.

Yunnan Vice Governor Luo Zhengfu was cited in the report as saying one million homes would be subsidized in the province, where 56 have died and more than 2,100 have been injured in the 21 earthquakes here since 2000. Rural homes around Kunming and Zhaotong in Yunnan's northeast will be among the domiciles targeted.

Yunnan is home to the Xiaojiang fault line, which runs through the Dali and Lijiang autonomous prefectures and is only a little more than 30 kilometers from Kunming. In 1970, the fault was the source of a major tremor that registered at 7.7 and caused significant damage to the city. The most powerful recorded earthquake in Kunming was an 8.0 in 1833 that leveled the city.

Dali and Lijiang have both been hit by tremors in recent years, most seriously in the case of Lijiang in 1996, which caused serious damage to the city's old town. There are plans to build the world's #second-largest dam## at Tiger Leaping Gorge, near Lijiang and the Xiaojiang fault.

Households that are determined to be eligible for subsidies will receive 3,000 to 5,000 yuan (US$370-$625), according to the number of people living in those households. Aid recipients will also be provided technical assistance on reinforcement and rebuilding work. The project is modeled after a pilot project implemented on 1,000 homes in Zhaotong last year.

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