(Yicai Global) Dec. 11 -- The ecological preservation and closed conservation areas in Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area in Jiuzhai Valley National Park in China's southwestern Sichuan province are designated as key areas for reconstruction and will be temporarily closed to tourists, per the post-earthquake reconstruction plan the provincial government has announced, as Chengdu Business Daily reported.
The magnitude 7 seismic upheaval struck the sparsely-populated ethnic-minority region in the summer, claiming 25 lives.
Sichuan Province issued a document titled Five Specific Implementation Plans for Reconstruction of Jiuzhaigou in the Aftermath of the Aug. 8 Earthquake. They entail overall investment of CNY11.8 billion (USD1.77 billion).
The outlay for reconstruction and protection of the ecological environment is set at CNY860 million. Rebuilding will focus on natural recovery, and restoring the overall ecological quality to the pre-earthquake level by 2020, with investment in scenic area restoration, improvements, and industrial development of CNY3.12 billion. CNY1.95 billion will go to geological disaster prevention, CNY5.63 billion to rebuilding infrastructure and public services and CNY202 million to urban and rural housing reconstruction.
The Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area will be divided into three specific districts: an ecological preservation zone and closed conservation and open tourism zones. The ecological preservation area will be closed to tourists, but the closed conservation area will shrink each year based on the progress of conservation and reconstruction, while the open tourism area will widen every year based on the same metric.
The picturesque Tiger Mouth site, which requires significant rehabilitation, and other scenic spots that require major changes, such as Panda Lake Waterfall, Panda Lake, Arrow Bamboo Lake, Pearl Beach Waterfall and Sword Crag will be fully surveyed, monitored and assessed to develop specific measures for their remediation.
Northern Sichuan province, where the temblor occurred, lies along the fault line where the volatile Himalayan and Yangtze Plates meet. Wenchuan, which suffered a devastating quake in early 2008 that inflicted tens of thousands of fatalities, lies just to the south.