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China Earmarks US$2.2 Bln for Quake Relief

The Ministry of Finance said Saturday that the government has allocated 15.1 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) for quake relief operations so far.

The ministry said that as of 2:00 PM Saturday, 11.1 billion yuan had been allocated from the central budget and 4 billion yuan from local budgets.

The death toll from the magnitude 8.0 quake that hit the southwest China's Sichuan Province on May 12 had risen to 60,560 as of Saturday noon, according to the Information Office of the State Council, while another 26,221 were still missing.

Electricity had been partially restored in 16 counties in Sichuan by Saturday noon, but two hard-hit counties (Beichuan and Lixian) were still blacked out, said the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Telecommunications services in all quake regions, except for Hongguang Town, Qingchuan, have resumed, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said.

Residents of Hongguang were evacuated because of concern about possible further geological disasters.

(Xinhua News Agency May 24, 2008)

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