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Earthquake Death Toll Rises to 69,016 by Mid-Sunday

The death toll from China's earthquake on May 12 rose to 69,016 as of noon Sunday, a report from the State Council Information Office said.

In addition, 368,545 were injured and 18,830 others were still missing in the 8.0-magnitude quake that jolted southwest China's Sichuan Province and some neighboring areas.

About 15.15 million affected people in the quake zones had been evacuated, according to the office.

Hospitals had treated 91,762 injured survivors as of Sunday noon, of whom 61,597 were discharged, 12,243 were still being treated and 10,015 were transferred outside of Sichuan for further treatment.

As of Saturday, disaster relief workers had relocated 951,975 people to safe areas and no new survivors were found among the ruins.

A total of 191 aftershocks were detected from Saturday noon to mid-Sunday, putting the total number of aftershocks since May 12 in the quake zones at 9,710.

Among the new aftershocks through Sunday noon, three measured between 4.0 and 4.9 on the Richter scale, while the rest measured below magnitude 3.9.

As of noon Sunday, the government disaster relief fund for the quake-stricken areas had hit 22.61 billion yuan (about US$3.23 billion), including 18.30 billion yuan from the central budget and 4.31 billion yuan from the local budget, the office said.

In addition, donations from home and abroad to the quake-hit regions had reached 41.5 billion yuan. About 11.5 billion yuan in cash and relief materials had been forwarded to the earthquake-affected areas, it said.

In the meantime, relief supplies, including 701,500 tents, 4.41 million quilts, 11.35 million garments, 620,000 tons of fuel oil and close to 1.27 million tons of coal were sent to the quake-hit areas.

Also, the 7,600 makeshift houses set up in the quake zones were supplemented by another 7,500 makeshift houses constructed by Saturday.

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2008)

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