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BEIJING - President Hu Jintao called for immediate efforts to help with disaster relief work in southwest China, where multiple earthquakes that occurred on Friday have killed at least 64 people, according to a China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast.
Hu, who is in Russia's city of Vladivostok for an annual economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, said authorities should work to ensure safety and protect property in the quake zone.
In a meeting on relief work held en route to the quake zone, Premier Wen Jiabao stressed that efforts to save lives should come first to minimize casualties.
Wen said intensified efforts will be needed to take care of the injured, as well as restore infrastructure facilities that were damaged to facilitate the rescue work.
The premier asked authorities to provide adequate supplies of water, food, clothing and shelter for local residents affected by the quakes.
After withstanding the test of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, China is confident and capable in its ability to cope with natural disasters, he said.
Sixty-four people have been confirmed dead and more than 715 others injured in multiple earthquakes that struck southwest China's Yunnan and Guizhou provinces on Friday. More than 100,000 residents have been evacuated and 100,000 others are in need of relocation, according to local civil affairs authorities.