China quake zone braces for rain

May 25th, 2008 - 6:31 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, May 25 (ANI): China’s earthquake zone is bracing itself up for heavy rains, which officials say could hamper further relief efforts.
There are concerns that the construction of temporary shelters for five million homeless could be delayed, while water levels in dams and lakes remain high.
A 5.8 magnitude aftershock hit the area on Sunday, and was felt in Beijing, though there were no reports of damage. State TV said one person was killed and several hundred injured in the tremor, which further damaged buildings.
It was one of the strongest of about 8,000 aftershocks detected since the 7.9 quake hit south west China on May 12.
The tremor thought to be the biggest, measuring 6.0, came six days after the quake and killed three people and injured more than 1,000.
Earlier a survivor was pulled from the rubble in Mianzhu, more than 11 days after the quake, state TV said. Eighty-year-old Xiao Zhihu, who was partially paralysed before the quake, was trapped under a pillar of his house. He had been fed by his wife while trapped and was in a stable condition, the reports said.
The BBC quoted Government officials as saying that the death toll had now risen to 62,664, and few more survivors are expected to be found.
Rescuers are still searching for 24 miners trapped underground by the earthquake in three mines, but it is not known whether they are still alive.
Premier Wen Jiabao has said the final death toll could be more than 80,000.
More than five million buildings collapsed in the earthquake and more than five million people are homeless, officials say.
Rains are expected later on Sunday and on Monday, which forecasters said would be torrential in some areas and could cause mudslides.
China’s Water Ministry said 69 dams were at one time in danger of bursting, although steps have been taken to reduce the risk. (ANI)

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