China quake toll goes past 67,000 (Roundup)

May 27th, 2008 - 10:04 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, May 27 (Xinhua) China Tuesday updated the toll in the May 12 earthquake in the northwest at 67,187 even as heavy rain and hailstorm killed at least 18 people in Guizhou and flooded vast swathes of the southwest province of Guizhou. The information wing of the State Council said more than 20,790 people were still untraced following the quake in Sichuan province, also in northwest.

Relief workers relocated 698,302 people to safe areas, and rescued 6,541 survivors from quake ruins, the information wing of the State Council said.

About 400,000 people were injured in the devastating earthquake, it said.

The situation in the quake-hit province got even worse as 5.4-magnitude aftershock Tuesday struck, razing more than 400,000 houses.

Tuesday’s aftershock followed Monday’s 6.4-magnitude tremor, the biggest of some 8,000 aftershocks the province experienced since the May 12 devastation, in which at least eight people were killed.

Meanwhile, emergency workers were arranging to evacuate another 80,000 people from the area downstream of a swelling earthquake-induced lake by midnight Tuesday.

In the southwest province of Guizhou, flooding in the wake of heavy rain have left 18 people dead and 12 missing, authorities said Tuesday.

A total of 166 people were injured and more than 4,600 have been evacuated since the flooding and hail hit Guiyang, capital of Guizhou, Sunday night.

More than 538,000 people in 17 cities and counties in Guizhou were affected in the floods and about 6,700 houses were reduced to rubble or damaged.

Rescuers are searching for the missing.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday it was extending a $1 million grant to China to support relief efforts.

The Manila-based ADB said the technical assistance will fund the acquisition of essential equipment and supplies for basic services, and review the disaster management framework for the quake area.

The programme will also conduct a preliminary damage and needs assessment of the physical and social infrastructure.

“Subsequent reconstruction programmes and projects may require additional ADB-supported funding,” the bank said.

Donations from home and abroad to China’s quake-hit regions had reached 32.7 billion yuan ($4.67 billion), up 1.8 billion yuan from the previous day, the State Council said Tuesday.

The Red Cross Society of China announced its headquarters had received 3.154 billion yuan in relief supplies and its local agencies 5.938 billion yuan till Monday from domestic and foreign donors and had delivered 1.562 billion yuan in cash and goods to affected areas.

Real estate development giant Shimao Group donated 100 million yuan to build 100 hospitals in the earthquake-ravaged areas.

Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, attended the donation ceremony in Beijing.

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