In Xin­jiang, new houses ‘saved lives’

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA -

Im­proved struc­tures stood up to strain as quake rat­tled re­gion on Wed­nes­day

the epi­cen­ter, many of the in­jured were still liv­ing in old houses and wait­ing to move into earth­quake-proof ones. The new houses re­mained stand­ing dur­ing the earth­quake, Han said.

“Many ca­su­al­ties dur­ing earth­quakes are caused by col­lapsed build­ings, so the earth­quake-proof houses have in­deed saved many lives,” she said.

Ini­ti­ated and funded by the cen­tral and re­gional gov­ern­ments, Xin­jiang be­gan to in­tro­duce earth­quake-proof hous­ing projects around the re­gion, with special fo­cus on ru­ral ar­eas, in 2003.

Al­though the epi­cen­ter was about 383 km from Urumqi, many peo­ple in the city felt its power.

Peo­ple in Ily Kazak au­ton­o­mous pre­fec­ture, which bor­ders Bor­tala, also felt strong tremors.

“The house was shak­ing for at least 30 sec­onds. I could hear a roar­ing sound com­ing out of the earth,” said Zhao Xiao of Ily city. The re­gional gov­ern­ment said about 600 houses and live­stock sheds were dam­aged in Ily.

Peo­ple in Urumqi, Kara­may, Shi­hezi and Changji in Xin­jiang also re­ported feel­ing the earth­quake. the

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