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Death toll in China quake rises to 195, 10,500 injured

Death toll in China quake rises to 195, 10,500 injured

Beijing: The death toll in the powerful earthquake that hit China's Sichuan province climbed to nearly 200 today with over 10,000 injured in the disaster, as rescue operations were carried out on a war footing.

The Lushan County which was hit by the 7-magnitude quake yesterday experienced 1165 after shocks some measuring over 5- magnitude making the rescue operations more difficult, official media here reported.

About 90 people have been rescued from the debris of the collapsed buildings, while 600 people have been evacuated from the worst-hit areas of the quake so far.

The catastrophic disaster has claimed 195 lives with about 10,500 people injured, state-run CCTV reported. The death toll was expected to climb as many people were still buried under the debris.

This morning an earthquake measuring 5.0-magnitude jolted China's Yellow Sea at 7:21 am, according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre. The epicenter was monitored at a depth of 10 kms.

Ya'an City, which was worst-hit in yesterday's quake registered 164 deaths. The quake has affected about 1.5 million people in the Lushan county.

The relief efforts were being coordinated personally by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who arrived at the quake-hit areas yesterday. Li said the focus of the rescuers is not to waste time and saving the people buried under the debris.

At the epicenter, Lushan County of Ya'an City, Li visited temporary settlements, hospitals, tents and monitored the disaster situation, even climbing on a heap of ruin to see the magnitude of the destruction.

Li offered his condolences to the victims and the survivors, and guided the rescue and relief work on site.

"We once underwent catastrophes and have experience in dealing with them. We have quite a fine emergency response system. As long as we unite as one and conduct rescue work scientifically, we are able to minimise the losses and overcome the disaster," Li was quoted by the state-run Xinhua news agency as saying.

As the electricity supply had not yet been resumed, Li had to hold a meeting late last night with flashlights in a tent after seeing the disaster situation.

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