China says 40,000 killed, 30,000 still missing in quake

May 20th, 2008 - 8:59 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, May 20 (Xinhua) The toll in the killer earthquake that ripped through southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan last week has now crossed the 40,000-mark and more than 30,000 are still missing, the authorities tasked to provide quake related information said Tuesday. At a press conference here, the Information Office formed under the State Council, put the quake death toll at 40,074. The total number of people injured in the 7.9-magnitude quake was 247,645, while 32,361 people were still missing since the disaster struck the nation, the office added.

According to the ministry of civil affairs, about 5.36 million buildings have been confirmed destroyed and more than 21 million buildings were damaged in the earthquake.

The quake affected 434 counties in 10 provinces, the ministry said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Up to 360,159 people trapped under the rubbles have so far been rescued safely, the ministry said, and added that military and rescue officials had reached all 1,044 of the worst-hit villages in 134 townships in Sichuan province by Tuesday evening.

The ministry also said that it has allocated 278,462 tents, 783,984 quilts and 1.78 million items of cotton-padded clothes to the quake zones.

Meanwhile, the power grids in quake-hit Sichuan, Gansu, Shaanxi as well as Chongqing municipality have been restored to normal operation, while the electricity supplies to Gansu, Chongqing and Shaanxi have been resumed.

However, restoration of power was yet to be made in the worst-hit Beichuan, Maoxian and Wolong counties, the information office said.

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