First makeshift school completed in quake zone

Xie Qiao′s parents hold their deceased son′s portrait at the memorial service held for Xie on Tuesday in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province. Xie, a solider, died in a rescue operation after the quake that hit Yunnan last week. Photo:  For China Daily

The first temporary school in parts of southwest China′s mountainous Yunnan province devastated by last week′s earthquake was finished on Tuesday.

The school is on the same campus as the badly damaged Longtoushan central primary school and comprises 20 prefabricated rooms. There are classrooms, dorms, reading rooms and a canteen, said Xu Meng, secretary-general of the China Youth Development Foundation, which paid for the facilities.

The school will enable 500 students from the badly damaged school to start the new semester as scheduled on Sept 1. The foundation is funding two more similar primary schools in Longtoushan, and they are under construction.

Youth Development social workers have been sent to the quake zone to help organize summer camp activities and offer counseling to students.

The 6.5-magnitude earthquake, which occurred on Aug 3, killed more than 600 people and destroyed 80,000 homes in Ludian and nearby areas.

Also on Tuesday, a memorial service was held for Xie Qiao, a soldier who died in the rescue operation after the quake.

Hundreds of people, including Xie′s colleagues and relatives, bid farewell to the 24-year-old soldier at the Kunming Funeral Home in the provincial capital.

Xie, a health worker and sergeant with the general hospital of Yunnan border police, swam in a barrier lake searching for quake survivors on Aug 4. He was only five meters from the shore when he was struck by a falling rock.

Rescuers retrieved his body from the lake four days later.

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