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First batch of tents reaches jolted areas
( 2003-10-27 09:46) (Xinhua)

The first batch of 400 cotton-padded tents and other relief materials reached earthquake-hit areas in Zhangye City in northwest China's Gansu Province Sunday afternoon.

Relief work has been carried out smoothly.

A total of 2,000 cotton-padded tents from the Ministry of Civil Affairs are on the way and will arrive at the jolted areas Monday, where temperatures would drop to five or six degrees below zero at night.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Hui Liangyu have instructed the Ministry of Civil Affairs to respond in a quick and complete manner.

Deputy-director of the China Seismological Bureau Chen Jianmin reached the affected areas Sunday afternoon with a seismological task force. Provincial Governor Lu Hao has arrived in the quake- hit region to organize rescue operation.

By Sunday afternoon, nine people were confirmed dead from the quakes, six were badly wounded and 37 were slightly injured, according to Wu Jinbing, a senior official with the Gansu Provincial Seismological Bureau.

According to preliminary statistics from Zhangye City, the earthquakes have caused an economic loss of 327 million yuan (US$37.40 million), involving 46,491 households in 175 villages, flattening 14,322 houses, killing or injuring 16,219 heads of livestock and destroying 87,000 Mu (5,800 hectares) of farmland.

Traffic, water and power supply facilities have been destroyed to various extents.

The twin earthquakes, measuring 6.1 and 5.8 on the Richter scale, jolted areas between Minle and Shandan counties of Zhangye City in Gansu at 20:41 and 20:48 Saturday. The two counties are a direct distance of 330 kilometers from Lanzhou, capital of the province.

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