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Premier Wen Appeals for 'Calm, Confidence, Efficiency' After Quake

China's Premier Wen Jiabao has asked for public calm and efficient organization of disaster relief work after a major quake hit southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday.

Speaking as he flew to the area to oversee relief work, Wen said the CPC Central Committee and the cabinet had ordered Party officials at all levels on to the front line to organize disaster relief.

Officials should make every effort to help the people and to overcome fear and fatigue, Wen said aboard his flight to Taipingsi airport on the outskirts of the Sichuan provincial capital, Chengdu, on Monday evening.

"My fellow Chinese, facing such a severe disaster, we need calm, confidence, courage and efficient organization, he said.

"I believe we can certainly overcome the disaster with the public and the military working together under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the government."

The quake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale jolted Wenchuan County in southwest China's Sichuan Province at 2:28 PM on Monday, according to the State Seismological Bureau (SSB).

The epicenter of the quake, which has claimed 107 lives so far, was located 31 degrees north and 103.4 degrees east, the bureau said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2008)

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