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1,000 Special Rescue Forces to Gather in China's Quake-hit Sichuan

Some 1,000 people specializing in disaster rescue and relief are marching toward quake-hit Sichuan Province and are expected to arrive there on Tuesday evening, the China Seismological Bureau (CSB) said on Tuesday.

The rescue workers came from 27 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, said Liu Yuchen, deputy head of the CSB.

As of 8:00 AM on Tuesday, 18 aftershocks, including two aftershocks of 6-magnitude and 16 of 5-magnitude, had occurred following a strong quake jolted Wenchuan County in southwest China's Sichuan Province Monday afternoon, the CSB said.

On Monday evening, two emergency disaster-relief work teams, with 214 members, were sent by the bureau to the disaster-hit areas. The teams included 44 seismologists and staff for emergency aid, 22 medical workers from the hospitals of armed police and 148specially-trained soldiers for disaster-relief.

As of early Tuesday morning, the two rescue teams had dug out 22 people.

The 7.8-magnitude quake has killed more than 9,000 people in eight affected provinces and municipality including Sichuan, Gansu, Shaanxi, Chongqing, Yunnan, Shanxi, Guizhou and Hubei, according to the ministry of civil affairs.

(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2008)

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