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Qinghai Authorities to Offer Assistance to Foreign Journalists

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Qinghai authorities were ordered Thursday to assist foreign journalists covering the aftermath of Wednesday's earthquake, said an official of the rescue headquarters.

Foreign journalists were required to carry valid documents and show them to government officials or police in Qinghai Province when asked, according to the Emergency Plan for Major Earthquakes of Qinghai Provincial Foreign Affairs Office, which was issued Thursday, the official said.

Local governments must provide information to foreign journalists and coordinate their work, the official said.

The 7.1-magnitude earthquake that struck the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, in southern Qinghai, early Wednesday, has left 617 dead, 9,110 injured and 313 missing.

At least 750 aftershocks have been recorded in the quake zone, with the biggest at 6.3 magnitude.

The quake also toppled 15,000 residential buildings and left 100,000 residents homeless.

(Xinhua News Agency April 15, 2010)

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