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China Tells Concerned People to Not Flock to Quake-hit Yushu

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The State Council's quake-relief headquarters on Saturday advised would-be volunteers to not rush to the quake-hit zone in Qinghai Province's Yushu, lest they complicate relief and rescue operations.

The headquarters said in a circular the quake zone sits at about 3,700 meters above sea level and has few facilities for accommodation after the earthquake flattened many houses.

Ensuing aftershocks, difficult access, and low nighttime temperatures, which can drop below freezing this time of the year, will make quake-relief efforts more difficult if "a large number of people flock to the quake zone," the circular said.

Saying that rescue operations are well underway, that the quake-affected and injured are being taken care of and that relief supplies are being rushed to the quake zones, rescue headquarters told government departments and social organizations to not despatch people to the quake zone at present, unless pressing circumstances exist.

It also advised volunteers, tourists and non-emergency rescuers to not go to the quake zones on their own at this stage.

The circular also urged improved coordination between related departments and organizations, and called for effective work mechanisms to arrange and allocate relief supplies in a timely manner.

It advised the public to make cash donations for the reconstruction of the quake-hit areas and the resettlement of the quake's victims.

Donated relief supplies and equipment must be received and transported to the quake zone by the authorities in an organized way, rather than by the donors themselves, it said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2010)

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