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Central Government Departments Actively Engaged in Quake Relief

Various departments of China's central government have taken series of measures for relief work after a 7.8-magnitude quake jolted Wenchuan County in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Another 200 million was allocated by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday to help buy and ship medicine and medical equipment to quake-hit areas.

The Ministry of Industry and Information made an urgent public call on Thursday for rescue equipment to aid the work in quake regions.

It listed 31 types of equipment, ranging from hammers, shovels and demolition tools to cranes, rubber boats and life detectors. The amount needed varied between several hundred and 50,000.

A total of 50,000 quilts and 37,700 tents allocated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs have arrived at the southwest quake zone as of 3:00 PM Thursday, with 32,200 tents going to Chengdu, in Sichuan Province.

The ministry said it had allocated 127,580 tents, 220,000 quilts and 170,000 sets of quilted clothes, and the remainder is set to arrive by the end of Friday.

More firemen would be sent to reinforce rescue teams in remote townships, the Ministry of Public Security said Thursday.

More than 7,000 firemen, special policemen and medics would be deployed to Pingwu and Beichuan counties, Xuankou, Shuimo, Sanjiang Townships of Wenchuan County, and other townships in Mianyang and Mianzhu to clear "blind spots" in rescue work.

They should move swiftly to locate and rescue survivors, the Ministry of Public Security ordered.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has told schools in the quake zone to suspend classes according to local needs, according to ministry spokesman Wang Xuming.

On Wednesday, the MOE and the Ministry of Finance allocated an emergency fund of 50 million yuan (US$7.14 million) to assist teachers and students.

About 10,000 medical workers, from both Sichuan Province and outside including army and police medical teams, are working in quake-hit areas, according to vice health minister Gao Qiang.

The Ministry of Health Thursday released a working plan for disease prevention in quake relief.

It also stipulated monitoring of diseases, food, water and environment hygiene, control of disease-spreading animals, properly handle of bodies and psychological counseling.

It ordered to timely start an emergency disease monitoring mechanism to instantly detect potential epidemic diseases.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2008)

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