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Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Latest News
UPDATED: May 20, 2008  
China Earthquake Death Toll Rises to 34,073

The death toll in China's devastating earthquake rose to 34,073 as of noon on Monday, according to the earthquake relief headquarters of the State Council (cabinet).

Another 245,108 people were injured in the 8.0-magnitude quake that jolted southwestern Sichuan Province last Monday.

According to the Ministry of Health, about 52,934 people have been hospitalized and 7,979 have recovered, while 3,304 died in hospital.

China began a three-day mourning period for the victims on Monday, with flags flying at half-staff and public amusements suspended.

Meanwhile, the country has been mobilized for rescue and relief work.

As of Sunday evening, the civil affairs departments and army had sent more than 250,000 tents, 723,500 quilts, 1.78 million pieces of clothes and food and water worth 34.22 million yuan (4.96 million U.S. dollar) to the quake-hit regions.

According to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC), power supply to all quake-stricken counties has been restored at least partly, except for Beichuan, Maoxian and Wolong.

Satellite devices have been provided to 76 of the 109 townships where telecom service was shut off, and fixed line phone service was reconnected in the seven worst-hit counties in Sichuan as of 8:48 p.m. Sunday.

The State Disaster Relief Commission and Ministry of Science and Technology established an expert team here on Monday. Academic and government experts will evaluate the quake intensity, the geographic impact, other natural disasters caused by earthquakes and solutions, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. The team will submit comprehensive proposals to decision makers, it said.

The Ministry of Public Security confirmed that no serious crimes had taken place in quake-hit regions. "Local society remained stable and in order," the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Police have improved security at hospitals, temporary shelters, medical camps, warehouses for relief material, banks and public utilities, it said.

The ministry asked local police to improve patrols and security checks in quake-hit residential areas as residents move to shelters. "They will crack down upon any criminals sneaking into victims' house and stealing properties," the statement said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 18, 2008)

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