Government responds to media reports on Lushan County Junior Secondary School, Sichuan Province

In response to recent media reports on Lushan County Junior Secondary School in Ya'an, Sichuan Province, which was funded by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, a Government spokesman made the following remarks today (April 24):

"Lushan County Junior Secondary School is a Sichuan reconstruction project funded by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The facilities provided include a teaching block, student dormitory blocks, a canteen and a sports ground. The project cost is RMB 31.37 million. Construction works commenced in December 2009 and were completed in December 2011. The construction works met the Mainland completion inspection requirements before the facilities were put into operation.

"After the Lushan earthquake a few days ago, the Sichuan Provincial People's Government sent experts to the school to assess possible damage caused by the quake. Initial assessment revealed that the school buildings sustained no major damage to the building structure and only part of the non-load-bearing walls was damaged. The buildings are therefore not declared as dangerous buildings. The Sichuan side will inform Hong Kong about the results of the assessment upon completion of the work.

"Lushan County Junior Secondary School was designed and constructed in accordance with the relevant Mainland laws and regulations and complies with the construction codes and standards, including the "Law of the People's Republic of China on Protecting Against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters" and "Code for Seismic Design of Buildings" (the Code). The designed seismic fortification intensity is seven and the school buildings have a frame structure design. The external walls (non-load bearing) are made of shale-perforated brick masonry with steel reinforcement and are equipped with compound silicate insulation boards for energy conservation purposes. This type of design is commonly adopted on the Mainland.

"The structural design of the school buildings was in full compliance of the Code which aims to achieve the objectives of 'Minor earthquakes - no damage; medium earthquakes - reparable; big earthquakes - no collapse'. It is not beyond expectation that some walls of the school buildings would be damaged during an earthquake.

"The HKSAR Government will organise expert groups to visit Sichuan in due course to carry out on-site inspection and assessment of the HKSAR's reconstruction projects in the earthquake-stricken areas."

Ends/Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:23