1 Sep 2008

More troops rushed to quake-hit China

9:57 pm on 1 September 2008

China deployed more than 8,000 soldiers and military reservists to help search and rescue efforts in the southwest today after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake that left 38 people dead.

The weekend quake, in a mountainous region spanning the Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, destroyed or damaged an estimated 258,000 homes and injured nearly 650 people, and aftershocks continued to be felt.

The China News Services said the military were rushed to the scene to beef up search and rescue efforts as more people were being located and pulled out from the rubble.

Two thousand troops, police and firefighters already in the area have rescued more than 130 injured victims from collapsed buildings since the quake struck on Saturday afternoon, it said.

An inter-ministerial command post was set up on Monday in the quake zone to coordinate communications and the rescue and relief work, the China Earthquake Administration said.

Food, water, medical supplies and tents were being rushed to the scene, it said on its website. Besides searching for survivors, rescue workers were also rushing supplies to those in need, evacuating people from dangerous buildings, and setting up refugee camps.