China's Ministry of Finance Friday set aside another 1.17 billion yuan (167 million U.S. dollars) for disaster relief upon Monday's deadly earthquake that claimed 19,000 lives in southwestern China's Sichuan Province alone.
The move brought the total money earmarked so far for disaster relief after the major quake, which was the worst over decades, to3.41 billion yuan.
Of the newly earmarked money, 500 million yuan will be used for resettlement of quake-affected people in Sichuan, 350 million yuan for allocating 150,000 tons of grain and 14,000 tons of edible vegetable oil from the central reserves to quake-affected areas in Sichuan, and 200 million yuan for medical treatment, reconstruction of collapsed housing and repair of damaged facilities in Gansu, Shaanxi and Yuannan provinces and the municipality of Chongqing.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Wenchuan County, about159 km northwest of the provincial capital of Chengdu, has severely affected an area of more than 100,000 square kilometers, according to the rescue headquarters.
The confirmed death toll in Sichuan was 19,509 by 4 p.m. Thursday, and more than 50,000 people were feared dead.
(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2008)