45 religious sites damaged in SW China quakes


DEQEN, Yunnan, Sept. 3 — At least 45 religious sites in a prefecture in southwest China’s Yunnan Province were damaged in two earthquakes that happened last week.
Twenty religious sites were damaged in Deqen County, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Deqen, most of which were Tibetan Buddhist temples, according to the prefecture religious affairs administration on Tuesday.
There was also damage to 25 religious sites in Susu Autonomous County of Weixi, most of which were Christian churches.
A 5.1-magnitude earthquake and a 5.9-magnitude quake hit the province on Aug. 28 and 31 respectively.
The administration is still calculating the number of religious sites damaged in the quakes in Shangri-La County.
No deaths or serious injuries have been reported at the religious sites after the quakes, said Bai Linde, deputy head of the prefecture religious affairs administration.
Some 120 monk dormitories of Sumtsen Ling Monastery, a 334-year-old Tibetan Buddhist temple based in Shangri-La County, were damaged, according to Losang Geleg, a monk at the temple.
Cracks have been seen in two Buddha halls of the temple. Most of the 720 monks have gone home, he said.
County governments in the prefecture have set up tents to accommodate the affected monks and nuns. Hundreds of monks have been praying at various temples for quake-affected people.
The prefecture government said on Monday that the quakes have caused direct economic losses of nearly 1.5 billion yuan (240 million U.S. dollars) and affected more than 120,000 people.
According to government statistics, as of 12 a.m. on Monday, three people had been killed and 44 others injured in the counties of Shangri-La and Deqen, the worst-hit areas in the quakes.
Following the two quakes and 753 aftershocks in the prefecture, 596 homes there have collapsed, and 14,359 houses and more than 870 km of road have been damaged.[db:内容2]