Beijing, Aug. 5 : An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale hit Qingchuan of southwest China's Sichuan Province at 5:49 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center. Tuesday's quake came nearly three months to the date of an earlier earthquake in the same area claimed the lives of 70,000 people and left 1.4 million farmers in about 4,000 remote villages in absolute poverty.
Xu Hui, department director of the State Council''s Leading Group Office of Poverty-Alleviation and Development said a village needs an average investment of three million Yuan or 438,000 dollars to recover permanent shelter, infrastructure and basic services.
According to Hui, the government would need to "pump in a minimum of 12 billion Yuan" into the poor villages in the coming three years to ensure the villagers'' basic necessities in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces are met.
Most of the villagers will not be relocated out of their own villages when deciding the locations of their new homes, The China Daily quoted him, as saying.
The government will help roll out a recovery program for every poor village by the end of next month and local farmers, who earned the lion''s share of their income by working as migrants, are encouraged to take part in the recovery efforts, he said.
The 8.0 magnitude earthquake that shook Sichuan province on May 12 also left many intangible cultural heritage relics severely damaged, the Chinese Cultural Ministry has disclosed.
Fourteen national-level intangible cultural heritage relics were damaged in Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu provinces, and Chongqing municipality. The ministry statistics on Saturday revealed that 15,009 precious items were destroyed; 27 museums and 17 folklore villages sustained severe damages.
The quake claimed the lives of 25 researchers of Qiang culture, razed two intangible cultural heritage museums and seriously damaged a folklore museum, the ministry added.
Besides, 10 State-level intangible cultural heritage promotion individuals were injured in the quake, it said.
Sichuan province was the greatest sufferer as seven of its national-level intangible cultural heritage sites were destroyed, the China Daily reported.
The quake severely jeopardized the unique intangible heritage of Beichuan, a Qiang ethnic minority autonomous county levelled by the tremor.
In addition, the quake damaged many of the region's stone castles, which are unique to Qiang culture, and destroyed a village famous for its Chinese New Year art works.
The greatest devastation took place in areas inhabited by Sichuan's 306,000 Qiang people, including Miaoxian, Lixian, Beichuan, Heishui and Wenchuan counties.
The ministry is incorporating intangible cultural heritage protection into the post-quake reconstruction plan to strengthen the restoration and protection.
In addition, the ministry will send expert teams to quake-affected areas to conduct field research and make a detailed plan to assist intangible cultural heritage carriers pass their skills on to more people.
It will also speed up construction of an ecological reserve for Qiang ethnic culture.