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Collapsed riverbank residents get compensation

EIGHT families in a small village in Shanghai's Pudong New Area have received their first compensation payments for their houses damaged on January 12 in a land collapse linked to a yard storing hundreds of thousands of tons of construction materials on the opposite riverbank.

The yard's operator, Shanghai Pudong Road and Bridge Construction Co Ltd, has promised to pay each of the eight families in Jikou Village, Tangzhen Town, 4,000 yuan (US$585.55) for their moving expenses. It also agreed to compensate them eight yuan a month for each square meter of their home until their houses were repaired. For the Spring Festival that was raised to 12 yuan for each square meter, according to Shanghai Morning Post.

The eight families received their first payment on January 22.

The riverbed near the houses suddenly rose up at about 6:30pm on January 12. The riverbank collapsed immediately while houses on it slipped down the slope or cracked, according to the report. The water ran out of the river and has not returned, the newspaper said.

Sun Zhiliang, 65, told the newspaper he was cooking when his two-story house almost toppled down, and he thought it was an earthquake. Sun and several witnesses saw the river bed, mud, weeds and garbage slide into the north bank.

All the residents moved to local hostels that night. The next day villagers returned to find several houses damaged and a 70-years-old stone bridge deformed.

Part of the wall surrounding the yard collapsed.

Villagers believe the land collapse was due to the high pressure of stone materials. The yard's operator moved some of the stone materials to other parts of the yard shortly after the collapse.

Lu Jianming, from the company, said the building materials in the yard weighed hundreds of thousands of tons.

Some stone piles in the 67 hectare-yard, established in July, were as high as seven or eight meters, the newspaper said.

Most villagers were still living in their damaged houses and refused to move.


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