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Keeping Schools Safe in Earthquakes (Chinese Translation)

       Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the Chinese people have been united as one and achieved great success in the relief operation after an earthquake struck Wenchuan on May 12, 2008. Currently, they are faced with the heavy task of post-disaster reconstruction. The emphasis of the reconstruction of earthquake-stricken areas and disaster prevention throughout the country should be placed on school safety, reconstruction financing, earthquake-resistant construction and stricter construction standards and supervision to ensure that schools not only are safe and reliable learning places for students but also can serve as shelters for those affected by natural disasters.

The OECD Programme on Educational Building (PEB) is committed to keeping schools safe in earthquakes. In February 2004, GeoHazards International and the PEB convened a meeting of internationally renowned experts from 14 countries in five continents on school earthquake safety and released this report. This report sums up painful lessons and valuable experience of these countries in relation to earthquake safety of schools, analyzes the main causes of school damage and student deaths in earthquakes and provides guidance and recommendation for actions to assure seismic safety of schools. As the fruit of experience and wisdom of many countries following a trail of tears shed for predictable, tragic loss of life, the report is worthy of attention.

Damage caused by earthquakes in China has drawn great attention of the international community. Irene Hors, administrator of the OECD, provided us with the report and obtained permission to use the copyrighted work. The staff of the CDRF worked around the clock, sacrificing their free time, to translate the work. The former director of the International Cooperation Department, the Development Research Center of the State Council, Li Tonglian, read and reviewed the manuscript. Mr. Cao Tianqing, New York-based seismic expert at the United States National Research Council reviewed and proofread the large number of technical terms used in the book. We would like to express our appreciation for the experts of the OECD for sharing their research findings and support for the reconstruction of the affected areas in China and to the translators for their hard work.

      Disasters make us feel more strongly the greatness of life and the spirit of humanity. This book is dedicated to those who have lost life in disasters and those working bravely to save others’ life.