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Premier Li directs quake-relief at epicenter

Updated: 2013-04-20 17:22
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday afternoon visited the area torn by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in China's Sichuan province, calling for wasting no time to save lives.

Premier Li directs quake-relief at epicenter

Premier Li Keqiang, center, calls a meeting at the front-line headquarters in Longmen Township of Lushan, April 20, 2013. [Photo by Zhang Xiaoli/Asianewsphoto]

Premier Li directs quake-relief at epicenter

In the epicenter, Lushan County of Ya'an City, Li visited temporary settlements, hospitals, tents and climbing on a heap of ruin to see the disaster situation, expressed condolences to the victims and the survivors, and guided the rescue and relief work on site.

The earthquake hit Lushan County at 8:02 am Beijing time Saturday. Authorities said at least 160 people have been killed and more than 6,700 injured as of 0:40 am Sunday Beijing Time.

As the electricity supply had not yet been resumed, Li had to hold a meeting late Saturday night with flashlights in a tent in the epicenter Lushan County after seeing the disaster situation on the afternoon.

After listening to the reports from officials of Sichuan Province, the armed forces, armed police force and relevant government departments, Li endorsed the current rescue and disaster relief work, saying that the priority work of Sichuan province under current situation is the rescue and disaster relief, with saving lives as the chief mission.

Li urged local officials to check every house and make the utmost effort to save lives so long as there is one gleam of hope, deploy capable medical personnel to treat and cure the injured, and transfer seriously injured people outside in time so as to lower the mortality rate and disability rate.

Transportation must be unimpeded, said Li, adding that the railway and transportation departments should make every effort to facilitate the entry of tents, quilts and other materials into the quake-hit area. Vehicles in the area should give way to rescue units and medical teams so that they can reach the places that need them.

Li decided to allocate 20,000 more tents and 800 sets of mobile houses to the disaster area, and asked the railway and transportation departments to deliver them as soon as possible.

Li called for making clear the allowance standard for temporary resettlement of victims, and ensure enough funds for disaster relief and resettlement work.

As aftershocks continue to hit the area, Li urged relevant departments to organize experts to assess the damage of buildings and eliminate any hidden dangers.

Li called for the service of more professionals with know-how to deal with the aftermath of disaster in a scientific way. He ordered 200 more search and rescue specialists to arrive in the quake-hit area on Saturday night.

Li also called for an integrated and effective command mechanism for disaster relief, asking all the relevant organs to carry out their responsibilities and cooperate with each other to ensure the rescue work proceed in a timely, well-organized and scientific way.

He ordered electricity suppliers to bring back power before 9 pm Saturday. He visited the Lushan Middle School, where many people had been relocated, after he learned that power supply had been restored in some temporary settlements and hospitals.

Li arrived at the disaster area on Saturday afternoon by helicopter shortly after he arrived at Qionglai airport in the southwestern province from Beijing.

When visiting the county hospital in Lushan, Li asked the patients injured in the quake about their feelings and the conditions of their family members, reassuring them that the Party and government will make the utmost effort to treat them.

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