A tornado hit the city of Yancheng in Jiangsu province on June 23rd last year. [Photo: jschina.com.cn]
On June 23rd last year, a "rare" tornado flattened or damaged more than 30,000 rural homes in regions administered by the City of Yancheng, in Jiangsu Province.
Now, a year on, villagers affected by the disaster have mostly moved to fresh new and quality resettlements partly funded by the local government.
A year ago, on the afternoon of June 23rd, a fatal tornado hit Funing and Sheyang counties --both administered by the city of Yancheng.
Overall, it killed 99 people and injured 875 others according to official figures.
More than 45,000 residents were affected with about 32,000 houses damaged or collapsed.
The disaster was particularly hard to accept for people in the area because it happened in one of China's wealthiest and most modern regions—Jiangsu Province.
Straight after the rescue and relief efforts, government-coordinated reconstruction began.
In Lixin Village, Funing County, the construction of a resettlement started in late September 2016, just three months after the tornado hit.
The resettlement site, called New Lixin Village, has 125 stand-alone buildings, which are semi-detached or three-in-a-row two-story ones. The houses range in size from 70 to 140 square meters.
The New Lixin Village is built by local government. It can accommodate 375 families, a little more than the number of households affected by the tornado. [Photo: js.people.com.cn]
Unlike traditional Chinese villages, the resettlement took the form of a high-end urban community, with carefully designed buildings, roads, lamplights, green spaces, and so on.
Local officials say the New Lixin Village can accommodate 375 families, a little more than the number of households affected by the tornado.
The new houses have been sold to the tornado-affected villagers at a uniform price of 900 yuan per square meter, a huge discount on average market prices.
Forty-six-year-old Liu Xiaping, whose house was destroyed by the tornado, is satisfied with the scheme.
"The government has given us some subsidy. We ourselves paid a certain amount. My new house is 140 square meters in floor area. We paid more than 70,000 yuan for it. The other 55,000 yuan was funded by the government."
Liu and many of her fellow villagers have been the beneficiaries of a massive government reconstruction project.
Less than one month after the disaster, the project began under the supervision of the Yancheng city government.
A special reconstruction fund was set up, with officials aiming to raise some 1.1 billion yuan both from public coffers and donations.
Wang Rongping, the most senior official in Yancheng city, says the project is people-oriented.
"How to carry out post-disaster reconstruction? Our policies are the key standards that people will use to evaluate us. We have upheld the principle of putting people's interests first and taking into consideration the actual conditions of the disaster areas and people's wishes."
The official says that all 20 resettlements will be finished by the end of June.