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Relief aids on the way to quake-hit areas
( 2003-11-15 11:22) (China Daily)

Vitally needed aid made its way on Friday to the victims of the earthquake which hit Northwest China's Gansu Province on Thursday, killing one child.

Local officials said 1,500 tents were being distributed to people made homeless as a result of the quake, which also slightly injured 17 people and three who were badly injured are currently in local hospitals, according to an official from Minxian County, the worst-hit area.

The county's Bureau of Civil Affairs is making an all-out effort to help those affected by the quake and the county's senior officials are on the spot, the official said.

However, poor communication and transport links in the area are hindering rescue efforts, county official Cheng Bin was quoted by the China News Service as saying.

Cheng said mobile phones are currently inoperable in the area, and a lacking of fixed-line phones adds to the problems.

The Gansu Seismological Bureau reported three aftershocks in the region and said there could be more, according to the China News Service report.

The quake, which measured 5.2 on the Richter scale, hit the area between Minxian, Lintan and Jone counties on Thursday morning. The epicentre was 34.7 degrees north latitude and 103.9 degrees east longtitude.

Minxian County has a population of 440,000, Lintan has 150,000 and Jone has 100,000.

The earthquake followed a more serious one that occurred on the night of October 25 in the counties of Minle and Shandan in the province, which measured 6.1 on the Richter scale, killing nine and injuring more than 40.

In addition, more than 10,000 houses collapsed as a result of the earthquake.

The China Red Cross Society announced on Thursday the donation of disaster-relief materials worth of 2.3 million yuan (US$278,000) to earthquake-hit areas in Gansu, according to the China News Service yesterday.

According to Peng Peiyun, chairwoman of the society, the materials mainly include food, medicines, tents and clothes.

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