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Government Earmarks Another 1.17 Bln Yuan for Disaster Relief

China's Ministry of Finance Friday set aside another 1.17 billion yuan (US$167 million) for disaster relief upon Monday's deadly earthquake that claimed 19,000 lives in southwestern China's Sichuan Province alone.

The move brought the total money earmarked so far for disaster relief after the major quake, which was the worst over decades, to 3.41 billion yuan.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Wenchuan County, about 159 km northwest of the provincial capital of Chengdu, has severely affected an area of more than 100,000 square kilometers, according to the rescue headquarters.

The confirmed death toll in Sichuan was 19,509 by 4:00 PM Thursday, and more than 50,000 people were feared dead.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2008)

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