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Quake Death Toll Rises to 69,207

The death toll from the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province and its neighboring region has risen to 69,207 as of Thursday noon, the State Council Information Office said in a statement.

The number of people listed as missing and injured stood at 18,194 and 374,216 respectively.

As of Thursday noon, a total of 1,485,807 quake-affected people had been relocated.

Among the 96,473 hospitalized for injury, 91,555 had been discharged, the statement said.

The government spending on disaster relief and reconstruction had topped 64.11 billion yuan (about US$9.29 billion), including 57.41 billion yuan from the central budget and 6.7 billion yuan from the local budget.

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, domestic and foreign donations had reached 59.25 billion yuan in cash and goods by Thursday noon. Of this, 22.88 billion yuan had been forwarded to quake-hit areas.

About 1.58 million tents, 4.87 million quilts, 14.1 million garments, 2.51 million tons of fuel and 5.37 million tons of coal had been sent to the quake-hit areas, it said.

As of Wednesday, relief workers had built 590,700 temporary houses and another 8,200 were being installed, with 42,200 to be built.

In the 72 hours ending Thursday noon, one aftershock between 4.0 to 4.9 magnitude and 607 aftershocks at or below magnitude 3.9 were monitored in the quake zone, according to the China Earthquake Administration.

A total of 21,245 aftershocks had been detected since May 12.

A total of 282,483 tons of grain and 9,272 tons of edible oil have been allocated to the quake zones from central reserves as of Wednesday, the statement said.

Of the 48,276 km of ruptured water supply pipelines, 44,792 km had been restored as of Thursday noon, according to the statement. Of the 53,295 km of roads damaged in the quake, 52,507 km had been restored, according to the statement.

And 127,565 of the 138,960 business outlets damaged by the quake had been reopened, the statement read.

As of Thursday noon, 152,697 quake-affected people had been organized to work outside of the quake zone, while another 645,393 people had found jobs in their hometowns.

(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2008)

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