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Relief efforts continue in SW China quake zone

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-09-02 02:11

DEQEN, Yunnan - Trucks carrying relief supplies are reaching Deqen County, Southwest China's Yunnan province, and moving toward villages affected by a 5.9-magnitude quake that struck the region on Saturday.

"All relief supplies can be guaranteed (for residents living) in areas within a radius of one hour and a half's drive from the Township of Benzilan, the worst-hit area in Deqen County of Deqen Tibetan autonomous prefecture," said Liao Wencai, deputy Party chief of Deqen County.

The 5.9-magnitude quake hit the juncture area of Deqen and Shangri-La counties in Yunnan province and Derong County in Sichuan province at 8:04 am Saturday, leaving three dead(instead of the previously reported five deaths) and 52 others injured.

Early on Wednesday, a 5.1-magnitude quake hit the same area, affecting more than 52,000 residents in Yunnan.

Yunnan Provincial Civil Affairs Bureau has disptached 5,000 tents, 3,000 coats, 3,000 cotton-padded quilts, 4,000 folding beds and 1,000 mattresses, which had been transported to affected areas on Saturday and are reaching the hands of the quake victims.

The Yunnan provincial government has allocated 20 million yuan (3.2 million U.S. dollars) for quake relief and other related work, according to a government press release late Saturday.

"We felt more relieved after moving into tent last night," said Troling, a villager from Benzilan village in Benzilan Township. "All the villagers have moved into tents, and the government has given us bottled water, instant noodles and biscuits."

As of Sunday evening, traffic, communications and water and electricity supplies have been resumed in Diqing quake zone. However, hundreds of heavy-duty machines are standing by in case of landslides.

Liu Yulong, vice general manger of China Mobile Deqen prefecture company, said that telecommunications have been resumed in the worst-hit areas of Benzilan Township and Balagezong scenic spot.

The quake damaged more than 300 km of pipelines and affected drinking water for more than 10,000 people. "Water supply was expected to be resumed Sunday night," according to Zhang Honghua, deputy chief of water supplies in Diqing prefecture.

The quake also affected 109 schools and nearly 60,000 students in Deqen Tibetan autonomous prefecture. All schools in the prefecture have been ordered to suspend the opening of autumn term, which usually begins on September 1.

The prefectural education authorities have urged maintaining stability and safety on campus and the exact date for schools to begin is yet to be announced.

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