Beijing, May 17 : China's Ministry for Housing and Urban and Rural Construction has reportedly decided to probe the construction quality of the schools which collapsed in Monday's earthquake, of 7.8 magnitude, killing a large number of school kids.
Housing and Urban and Rural Construction Minister, Jiang Weixin said that the construction quality of the collapsed school buildings will be investigated once rescue work is completed in the quake-hit areas, and added: "If quality problems do exist in the school buildings, those found responsible will be dealt with severely."
Addressing a press conference, Jiang said it will take time to properly assess the situation regarding the collapsed buildings.
Meanwhile, Yang Rong, deputy director of the ministry's department of standards and norms, said that China had clear requirements on quake-resistant designs for primary and high school buildings, but "the intensity of this tremor far exceeded the stated requirements in Sichuan."
The authorities will consider whether to raise the standards after checking the collapsed schools, the China Daily quoted Yang as saying.
According to an Education Ministry official, more than four million buildings, including at least 6898 school buildings, were destroyed in Sichuan in the quake.
Yunnan Education authorities have ordered the demolition of six million square metres of dangerous school buildings.
The quake hit at 2:28 pm on Monday, when students were in class, leading to severe fatalities. In Mianyang city alone, seven schools collapsed burying 1700 people. Another 700 students were reported to have been buried in a school in the nearby town of Hanwang.