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Quake Death Toll Rises to 69,196

The death toll of China's massive earthquake increased by one to 69,196 as of Friday noon, the State Council Information Office said in a statement.

The number of the injured stood at 374,176 and people reported missing dropped by four to 18,385 after the 8.0-magnitude quake jolted southwest China's Sichuan Province and neighboring regions on May 12.

As of Friday noon, 96,402 injured people had been hospitalized and 86,947 have recovered and left hospital. There are still 6,810 people in hospital, the statement said.

The government disaster relief fund had reached 54.88 billion yuan (about US$7.95 billion), including 49.75 billion yuan from the central budget and 5.13 billion yuan from the local budget.

Domestic and foreign donations had reached 55.89 billion yuan in cash and goods, of which 20.08 billion yuan had been forwarded to the quake-hit areas.

About 1.58 million tents, 4.87 million quilts, 14.1 million garments, 1.68 million tons of fuel oil, and 3.59 million tons of coal had been sent to the quake-hit areas, it said.

As of Thursday, relief workers had built 408,300 temporary houses and another 21,100 were being installed, while the materials for 46,300 of such shelters had arrived in the affected areas.

In the 24 hours that ended Friday noon, 221 aftershocks were monitored in the quake zone. Among the tremors, one measured between 4.0 to 4.9 magnitude on Richter scale and the others were at or below 3.9 magnitude, according to the China Earthquake Administration.

A total of 15,619 aftershocks had been detected since May 12.

As of Friday noon, 6,894 water plants out of the total 8,426 damaged in the quake had been repaired and of the 53,295 km of roads damaged in the quake, 52,388 km had been restored, the office said.

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2008)

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