54 tourists dead in China earthquake

Updated: 2008-06-13 20:09

CHENGDU - The May 12 earthquake killed 54 tourists in southwest China's Sichuan Province but there were no reports of foreigner deaths, the provincial tourism bureau said on Friday.

Zhang Gu, the bureau's head, told a press conference here that 10,668 tourists had been stranded after the quake, and the country used more than 20 flights and 100 vehicles to evacuate them.

Vice governor of Sichuan Huang Yanrong said 516 foreigners were stranded. They came from 12 countries, including the Republic of Korea (ROK), the United States and Australia.

"The number of tourist deaths was reduced to a minimum due to the timely rescue operations," Huang said.

Sichuan's tourism sector lost more than 50 billion yuan (US$ 7.24 billion) in the quake.

The death toll of the 8.0-magnitude earthquake increased by four overnight to 69,163 as of Friday noon, the State Council Information Office said. A total of 374,142 people were injured and 17,445 were still missing.

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