China / Society

China deploys troops, aircraft to Yunnan quake zone

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-04 16:51

BEIJING - Thousands of armed police, firefighters and soldiers, as well as eight planes have been rushed to southwest China's Yunnan Province, which was hit by a deadly 6.5-magnitude earthquake Sunday.

The Chengdu Military Area Command has dispatched six helicopters and deployed more than 4,000 servicemen and paramilitary reserve forces to the quake zone.

Two helicopters have already arrived in Yunnan and are rushing to the quake's epicenter. Upon arrival, they will examine the disaster situation, transport the injured and relief materials, and explore the route and landing venues for air forces.

Another four helicopters left the airport in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan Province Monday morning and are expected to arrive in the quake zone at noon if meteorological conditions allow.

The Air Force also sent two cargo planes from Beijing and Chengdu to transport relief personnel and materials to the quake zone on Monday morning.

A relief team composed of 100 servicemen from the Beijing Military Area Command left for the quake zone on Monday morning, according to the PLA General Staff Headquarters.

The team's commander Fu Xiaoguang said they are equipped with 8 search dogs and 160 sets of life detectors, and 90 percent of the team members have quake rescue experience.

In addition, the firefighting authority in Yunnan had dispatched 937 firefighters and 141 fire trucks with 17 search dogs to the quake area as of 11 a.m. Monday, according to the firefighting bureau under the Ministry of Public Security.

Firefighters at the scene have rescued 66 residents from debris, with 30 of them still alive, and relocated more than 1,300 people, the bureau's figures showed.

The quake occurred at 4:30 p.m. Sunday (Beijing Time) with a depth of 12 km. The epicenter was at Longtoushan Township, 23 km southwest of the county seat of Ludian.

At least 381 people had died as of 8:40 a.m. Monday, rescuers said.

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