Toll hits 34,073; all areas reached

(China Daily/Xinhua/Agencies)
Updated: 2008-05-20 08:05

The death toll from the May 12 quake rose to 34,073 by Monday, with 245,108 injured, according to the earthquake relief headquarters of the State Council.

According to the Ministry of Health, about 52,934 people have been hospitalized, of whom 7,979 were discharged while 3,304 died.

Li Chengyun, vice-governor of Sichuan, told reporters that rescuers has reached all 3,669 quake-affected villages in the province by Monday, with the last 77 villages getting help since midnight on Sunday.


A woman mourns while soldiers carried away the body of her husband near a collapsed building in the earthquake-hit Yinghua town of Deyang, Sichuan province, May 16, 2008. [Agencies]

Troops must "overcome all difficulties and make sure to go into all villages within 24 hours," Premier Wen Jiabao said on Monday, presiding over a meeting of the general quake relief headquarters.

More rescues were reported into the seventh day with more than 100,000 soldiers and rescuers, including those from Russia, Japan, Singapore and the Republic of Korea battling on.

The latest two were recorded Monday morning - of 61-year-old Li Mingcui in Beichuan county and Wang Fazhen, in her 50s, in Mianzhu city.

The two women were saved after about 164 hours in the ruins but Wang died later in hospital. An update on Li's condition was not available.

Chinese rescuers carry a woman to safety after getting her out of the rubble of a market in Beichuan, Sichuan province, May 19, 2008. [Agencies]

As of 1 pm Monday, 155 aftershocks measuring magnitude 4 or higher had been monitored since the magnitude-8 quake struck on May 12, according to the China Seismological Bureau.

About 200 people were missing after their five vehicles were buried over the weekend by mud flows as they attempted to leave quake-ravaged regions, a transport official told Xinhua Monday, without giving details.

The death toll cannot be confirmed as rescue work was still underway, said Director of Road Traffic Dai Dongchang at the Ministry of Transport.

He said that as of Monday, roads leading to more than 100 quake-hit towns and villages had been repaired and opened to traffic, while traffic to some 50 towns and villages was still blocked by rocks and mudslides.

Domestic and international aid continued to flow in.

The nation has received 10.83 billion yuan ($1.54 billion) in cash and goods from donors at home and abroad as of 1 pm Monday, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

They comprised 8.93 billion yuan ($1.27 billion) in cash and 1.9 billion yuan ($270 million) worth of relief materials, the ministry said.


Soldiers carry residents from a nearby village as they leave the city of Beichuan, located around 150 km north of Chengdu, in Sichuan Province May 16, 2008. [Agencies]

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Monday that tents were a priority "because many houses were toppled in the quake and it is the rainy season".

The quake took a heavy toll on Sichuan's economy. A preliminary investigation showed that 14,207 industrial enterprises in the province and surrounding areas suffered 67 billion yuan ($9.6 billion) of direct loss, Vice-Minister of Industry and Information Technology Xi Guohua told a news briefing on Monday.

The damage to the power grid is estimated at 6.7 billion yuan ($960 million), Xi said. He gave no other details, but earlier reports said factories, coal mines, toll roads, office buildings, chemical plants and other facilities were damaged or destroyed.

The quake killed 12.5 million farm animals - mostly chickens - and wrecked vegetable crops and irrigation systems needed to grow rice, the Ministry of Agriculture said.

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