China quake toll crosses 51,000May 22nd, 2008 - 6:04 pm ICT by admin
Beijing, May 22 (ANI): The death toll from the earthquake in China’s Sichuan province has increased to over 51,000, with another 30,000 people missing.
Officials revised the figure as they made a renewed international appeal for 3.3 million tents for survivors of the quake.
Three days of national mourning for victims of the 12 May disaster has now come to an end and the Olympic torch relay has resumed, but the BBC quoted organisers as saying that the Sichuan leg would be delayed because of the quake.
A Chinese government spokesman said on Thursday that the death toll in last week’s quake had now reached 51,151, with 29,328 missing and nearly 300,000 injured. The official death toll on Wednesday was around the 41,000 mark.
Chinese officials say one of the towns worst affected by the earthquake - Beichuan - will be rebuilt on a completely new site.
State media say the location has not yet been decided but is likely to be about 20 km from the current town, where 70 percent of buildings were destroyed.
The 7.9 magnitude quake left some five million people homeless, with many still sheltering in the open under makeshift tarpaulins more than 10 days after the disaster.
China’s leaders have promised a 70 billion yuan (10 billion dollas) reconstruction fund and warned that any corrupt practices linked to relief supplies for the quake will be severely punished.
Meanwhile, the relay got under way on Thursday with a minute’s silence in the eastern seaport city of Ningbo, Zhejiang province. The torch will be taken through the streets of Shanghai on Friday, before travelling through the rest of China and arriving in Beijing for the start of the Games on August 8. (ANI)
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