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Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Government Acts
UPDATED: May 15, 2008  
Chinese Politburo Stresses Saving Lives First in Quake Relief

Saving lives should be taken as the top priority during the quake relief after nearly 15,000 confirmed dead, a high profile meeting of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee was told Wednesday.

The meeting of the Political Bureau Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee, presided over by President Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, urged more army, armed police, firemen and special policemen, as well as medical personnel be rushed to the quake-hit areas.

The meeting called on various government departments to take measures to provide appropriate accommodations to survivors, ensuring that they are well fed, clad and sheltered.

"Attention should be paid to maintain social stability," the meeting was told.

It presses resumption of transportation, electricity, communication and water supply as soon as possible.

A strong quake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale jolted Wenchuan County in northwest part of Sichuan Province at 2:28 p.m. on Monday. The death toll tallied 14,463 by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday in Sichuan. Another 14,051 were missing, 25,788 buried in debris, and 64,746 injured.

Tens of thousands of army personnel and armed police have arrived at or are approaching the epicenter to carry out disaster relief work.

As of 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, emergency relief teams sent by the China Seismological Bureau (CSB) and 13 provinces and municipalities had saved 84 survivors in Sichuan.

Disaster relief goods have been airdropped to major quake-hit areas including Wenchuan County and Mianzhu City.

Public donations in both cash and goods to the quake-hit areas had risen to 877 million yuan (125 million U.S. dollars) as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, updating a previous figure of 603 million yuan, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

(Xinhua News Agency May 14, 2008)

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