(Yicai Global) May 8 -- China’s southwestern province of Sichuan has got 39 of its disaster-stricken counties back on track after a deadly 2008 earthquake, with gross domestic product and resident incomes tripling in the regions over the past 10 years.
The counties’ combined GDP reached CNY683 billion (USD107 billion) last year, gaining an average 12 percent per year from almost CNY225 billion in 2008 after excluding inflation, data from the Sichuan Provincial Bureau of Statistics shows. The expansion bettered the province’s average growth by 0.8 percentage point.
A magnitude-8 quake struck Wenchuan county on May 12, 2008, leaving nearly 70,000 dead, 18,000 missing and 375,000 injured while hammering the province with economic losses totaling CNY845 billion. The tremor was the most severe in China since the Tangshan quake in 1976, which killed hundreds of thousands.
China has invested heavily in reconstruction at the disaster sites, and the counties in question garnered CNY3.5 trillion (USD550 billion) in fixed-asset investment from 2009 through 2017, with CNY542 billion coming into the regions last year, more than four times the amount in 2008.
Residents have also seen their income rise considerably since the disaster. Annual disposable income for urban dwellers has grown at an average rate of more than 12 percent to CNY30,870 (USD4,850) since 2008, while those in rural areas have seen an average 13-percent gain to CNY14,430, or more than triple the pre-disaster figure.
Editors: Emmi Laine, James Boynton