China’s quake death toll crosses 32,000

May 19th, 2008 - 1:40 pm ICT by admin  

Chengdu, May 19 (Xinhua) The death toll from the powerful earthquake in China’s southwest Sichuan province rose to 32,173 as of 7 p.m. Sunday, the provincial government said Monday. Another 9,509 people remained buried, 29,418 others were missing and 209,914 were injured, said Liu Qibao, Communist Party chief of the province, at a teleconference on disaster relief.

More than 40 counties and cities in the province were severely stricken in the quake. Rescuers had entered 3,592 villages by 7 p.m. Sunday. However, another 77 were still out of reach given transportation and telecommunication problems, Liu said.

At present, disaster relief efforts in Sichuan should focus on rescuing survivors, resettling victims, repairing damaged infrastructures, comforting the victims, maintaining social order and preparing for reconstructions, Liu added.

The national death toll was 32,476 as of 2 p.m. Sunday.

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