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The powerful earthquake that struck southwest China
The powerful earthquake that struck southwest China in May has left 1.4 million people in remote villages completely impoverished, the China Daily said on Tuesday, citing a State Council official.

"In many areas, the hard-won anti-poverty achievements of the previous two decades disappeared within seconds," Fan Xiaojian, head of the State Council's group on poverty-alleviation and development, told the paper.

The May 12 quake, which affected more than 47,000 villages in three provinces, was the most severe to hit China in three decades, measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale. It killed at least 70,000 people and displaced around 10 million more.

"The damage is massive and many farmers have been made desperately poor again," Fan told the daily.

Another State Council official quoted by the paper said that at least 3 million yuan ($438,000) needed to be invested in each village to restore infrastructure and basic services.

This means the government should "pump in a minimum of 12 billion yuan ($1.7 billion)" into poor villages in the Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces in the next three years, Xu Hui said, according to China Daily.


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