In Pictures: Post-Quake Sichuan, From Stone to Steel

Village volunteers raise a steel structure.

For centuries, the Qiang ethnic minority residents Yangliu village have built houses with stone, a skill passed down through generations from their ancestors.

Since the the devastating 8-magnitude earthquake struck their village in Sichuan province on May 12 last year, the families there have embraced a new technique of home-building.

On a vacant lot near the Minjiang river, new homes were being fitted with light steel.

This is the resettlement site for Yangliu, located in Mao county, a region traditionally inhabited by the Qiang people. Though no one from the village was injured in the earthquake, 55 of the village's 72 families have moved to a new settlement site. Building the new settlement has become the top priority for the displaced families.

Things have changed, however, since the arrival of Xie Yingjun, a Taiwanese architect who advocated residents work together to rebuild without the help of outside contractors. He also persuaded them to use light steel, with sponsorship by the Red Cross Society Of China, the Narada Foundation, and Autodesk.

Each family would spend 60,000 yuan for construction costs, between 10,000 and 20,000 of which would be subsidized by the government. Eighteen villagers have volunteered to form a work team to help their fellow residents build new homes.

Luo Quan, a village volunteer.

The village cheif

Building stone walls is a traditional skill of the Qiang people.

A new House is under construction

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