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Environment Ministry Urges Proper Disposal of Garbage in Quake Areas

China's Ministry of Environmental Protection has outlined measures for the proper disposal of garbage in areas affected by the May 12 earthquake, saying garbage burning in the open must be away from people and settlements.

The ministry instructed in a circular that existing facilities and industrial incinerators should be the first choice when disposing of garbage and open-air burning should be the last option.

However, when garbage was burned in the open, it should be done as far away as possible from drinking water sources, and away from people, houses and relocation centers.

Medical waste should be disinfected promptly and then burned or buried as required, the circular said.

In quake-hit areas, infectious waste disposal should come first in urgency, it said.

The government has called for measures to prevent outbreaks of disease and public health emergencies after the quake, and disease prevention staff had covered all the townships in quake-hit areas by Monday.

The death toll from the earthquake rose to 65,080 as of Monday noon, according to the State Council Information Office.

Another 360,058 people were injured and 23,150 missing in the 8.0-magnitude quake that was centered on Wenchuan County of the southwestern Sichuan Province.

About 14.38 million quake-affected people have been relocated, according to the office.

(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2008)

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