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Quake Death Toll Rises to 40,075

The death toll from last week's devastating earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province was 40,075 nationwide as of 6:00 PM on Tuesday, according to the State Council Information Office.

Another 247,645 people were injured in the 8.0-magnitude quake that jolted southwestern Sichuan Province last Monday.

At a press conference earlier Tuesday, the information office also said that 32,361 people were missing as of Tuesday at noon.

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, about 5.36 million buildings had been confirmed destroyed and more than 21 million were damaged in the earthquake as of Monday evening.

The quake affected 434 counties in 10 provinces and municipalities, the ministry said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

As of Monday at midnight, up to 360,159 people trapped during the quake had been rescued and evacuated to safety, among them 6,375 excavated from debris, according to military sources.

Military rescuers had reached all 1,044 of the worst-hit villages in 134 townships in Sichuan Province as of Tuesday evening.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs allocated 278,462 tents, 783,984 quilts and 1.78 million items of cotton-padded clothes to the quake zones as of 1:00 PM on Tuesday.

The provincial power grids in quake-hit Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi as well as Chongqing municipality, are back to normal operation, while the electricity supplies to Gansu, Chongqing and Shaanxi have resumed their normal levels.

Power was out in the worst-hit Beichuan, Maoxian and Wolong counties, the information office said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2008)

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