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Social Order in Quake Zones Stable

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Social order in the quake-hit Yushu prefecture in northwest China's Qinghai Province has remained stable, a Public Security Ministry official said Sunday.

No criminal cases, major traffic accidents, or major security incidents have so far been reported in the quake zones, Wu Heping, a spokesman of the Ministry of Public Security told a press conference.

He warned that those who intended to take advantage of the earthquake to make illegal gains would be seriously dealt with according to law.

Wu said close to 500 special police officers were dispatched to Yushu Wednesday just hours after the earthquake struck, and had played a key role in maintaining social order and ensuring smooth traffic flow since their arrival in the quake zones.

"They have helped local police divert traffic, transport supplies, prevent the outlaws from infringing on public and private properties, and maintain order at shelter centers for the quake victims," Wu said.

The officers also strengthened protection and patrol of financial institutions, relief supplies and drug storage sites, he said.

Meanwhile, firefighters also checked for fire risks and conducted safety checks on power supply facilities, Wu said.

A 7.1-magnitude quake jolted the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu early Wednesday. At least 1,706 people were killed and 12,128 others injured, according to Sunday's latest official tally.

The devastating earthquake affected about 100,000 people in a 30,000 square kilometer area, the China Earthquake Administration said Sunday.

Made of wood and mud, most houses in the area collapsed or are on the verge of collapse.

(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2010)

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