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China Makes Emergency Call for Int'l Aid for Earthquake Relief

The Red Cross Society of China has made an emergency call for international aid for the relief of victims from the areas that have been severely affected by Monday's earthquake.

On Thursday, the Chinese society asked via the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, for 20 million CHF (US$1 = 1.0515 CHF) for financial assistance for the affected people.

The money will be used, within a period of 12 months, to buy relief goods including food, drinking water, tents, warm clothes, lighting equipment, and telecommunications facilities, according to the society.

On Monday, an earthquake measuring 7.8 degrees on the Richter scale jolted Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, southwest China, and affected a large part of the country. As of 4:00 PM Thursday, nearly 20,000 deaths have been reported and the official estimates put the total death toll at 50,000 or more.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2008)

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