China says schools must be made more quake-proof
Thousands of children died under collapsed school buildings after a devastating earthquake hit southwestern China on May 12.
China's parliament on Saturday passed an amendment to the country's law on earthquake safety and disaster relief, imposing stricter building standards for schools to make them more resistant to earthquakes, state media said.
Thousands of children died under collapsed school buildings after a devastating earthquake hit southwestern China on May 12, causing controversy especially because many nearby buildings withstood the tremors.
The amended law, passed by the National People's Congress (NPC), requires that new school buildings meet higher standards of resistance to earthquakes than normal buildings in the same area, the official Xinhua news agency said.
For existing schools, measures must be taken to strengthen them against earthquakes, it added.
Schools will also have to hold training courses on earthquake response to improve students' awareness, Xinhua said.
The law, like many in China, is short on specifics and leaves it to local authorities to issue implementation guidelines.
Hospitals, shopping centres and other public facilities will also have to be built to higher standards, the law states.
Lu Yongxiang, vice-chairman of the NPC, was cited by state media on Friday as saying that 2.5 percent of primary and middle schools had safety problems.
Reuters Last Mod: 27 Aralık 2008, 15:22