Number of quake victims in China’s Sichuan Province rises to 93


BEIJING — The death toll from a powerful earthquake in China’s southwestern Sichuan Province has risen to 93, with 25 more people missing, the China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Monday.

Earlier, the Xinhua news agency reported that 88 people died and 30 more were missing.

“As of 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 11, a total of 93 people died, including 55 in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and 38 in the city of Ya’an.

“In addition, 25 people are missing, among them are nine in the Luding County of the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and 16 in the Shimian County of the city of Ya’an,” the TV channel reported.

A magnitude 6.8 Earthquake occurred in the Sichuan Province on Aug. 5. The quake was followed by aftershocks. According to seismologists, more than 2,700 of them were registered over the past week, the magnitude of the strongest one was 4.5.

The search for the missing continues. The government sent material aid to the disaster area: tents, blankets and food.

Search and rescue continues with over 10,000 personnel in place, including soldiers, engineers and first-aid workers.

China’s State Council has dispatched a work group to assist efforts, saying the top priority is to save lives. Local authorities are also providing psychological counseling service to those affected.

Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, on Thursday expressed thanks to various businesses and enterprises from Taiwan for their donations to the earthquake-hit Sichuan.

Zhu said that people from all walks of life in Taiwan have also offered condolences and sympathy after the strong quake. “We are grateful for this,” Zhu said.

Minor aftershocks are still rattling the areas after the first strong shake. Rescuers, meanwhile, are battling the elements and are trying their best to save people.

More than 300 base stations and 134 kilometers of optic fibers were damaged, and more than 16,000 people lost communication signals when the quake hit.

As of Tuesday evening, 77 base stations were fixed and electricity has been restored for nearly 22,000 families.

At least 92 people trapped in debris have been transported to safety by firefighters. They checked almost 3,000 households and are still working to find more people.

In addition to firefighters under military command, ground force soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) joined the rescue.

“Many local people cried when they saw us coming,” Wei Xiaohu, one of the military rescuers, told China Media Group (CMG).

“All the roads to the epicenter were cut, so we have to take assault boats and then rope climb for three hours to get to them.”

“Then we used ropes — and our backs — to transport trapped people one by one to the boats,” Wei added.

The mountainous terrain makes it impossible to fly helicopters, so rescuers had to carry the aid to the area manually.

More than 6,650 people, including soldiers, engineers and first-aid workers participated in the rescue.

Drones also played an important role in the rescue, providing mobile phone signals to people at the epicenter after the earthquake destroyed signal towers.

The drones also took videos of the scene to help rescuers plan their work. The injured were transported to a temporary residence center to get basic treatment. — Agencies

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