Chinese president in quake-hit Shaanxi; toll 68,977

May 31st, 2008 - 8:13 pm ICT by admin  

Shaanxi (China), May 31 (Xinhua) Chinese President Hu Jintao Saturday arrived in the northwestern Shaanxi province to oversee quake relief operations, with the toll being officially placed at 68,977. Hu arrived in Hanzhong City, one of the worst-hit areas in the province by the devastating May 12 earthquake. Hu also visited the schoolchildren living in makeshift camps in Ningqiang County and extended his greetings ahead of Children’s Day June 1.

The 340,000 residents in Ningqiang County were urged to live outdoors amid fears of possible aftershocks.

Meanwhile, the toll in the earthquake Saturday rose to 68,977. Around 367,854 people were injured and 17,974 are missing, according to the Information Office of the State Council.

The quake, measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale, jolted the south-western Sichuan province and the adjoining areas May 12.

Some 45.55 million people were affected in the quake, while around 15 million people have been relocated to safer areas so far, the office said.

The government has allocated about 22.57 billion yuan (about $3 billion) so far for relief work, the finance ministry said.

Nearly 678,900 tents, 4.37 million cotton-padded quilts, 10.7 million garments, 590,000 tonnes of fuel oil and 1.2 million tonnes of coal were supplied to the quake-hit areas. Also, 4,900 temporary shelters have been set up in the quake-hit areas.

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