Such repeated disasters have caused western China’s city planners to look for a “risk map” for future city designing.
Earlier this month, southwest China’s Sichuan Province issued a circular requesting all cities and counties submit an evaluation report, specifically asking for suggestions on improvements and relocation proposals be submitted before Oct. 30.
The province was reviewing post-quake rebuilding projects to ensure new homes and public facilities are safe and built away from areas prone to geological disasters.
“We’ll re-study all reconstruction projects to double-check their safety,” the document noted, “so as to make sure they are located away from earthquake rupture belts and areas prone to floods and geological disasters.”
The circular further said the provincial government would readjust some rebuilding plans based upon the results of the evaluation.
China’s western regions have been developed quickly during the past ten years. Along with fast-paced economic growth, more people also moved into towns and cities, accelerating the increase in urban populations, Shi Peijun, deputy director of National Committee of Disaster Relief, said.
But due to lack of a “risk map”, many people did not know if they were living in areas prone to natural disasters, said Shi.
Take Zhouqu County, for example, Shi said, which is located in a valley where landslides often happen. It is not suitable to build a county with a population of 47,000 people here, Shi noted.
“Now, avoiding possible dangers and utilizing land rationally is at the top of government agendas,” Shi said.
“That’s what we gained from the disasters,” he said.