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Death toll rises to 193 in China quake

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 19:56

Beijing: The death toll in China`s earthquake rose to 193 today with over 12,000 injured in the catastrophic disaster, as rescue work was hampered by rain and 3,000 after shocks.

In the latest figures released here, Chinese officials said 193 people had been killed and 23 people have to be accounted for.

Over 1.40 million houses were damaged by the quake affecting the lives of over two million people in the Lushan county of the Sichuan province which was struck by 7.0 magnitude quake on Saturday.

The places recorded over 3000 after shocks measuring up to 5.4 in magnitude, making the rescue work more difficult. Also new threats and hazards began to loom large today as rescue and relief efforts entered a fourth day.

Rain began lashing the area, hampering relief work and posing threats such as rain-triggered landslides and possible outbreaks of disease.

According to the National Meteorological Center, moderate rain will linger in the quake-hit region over the next few days, adding to difficulties in carrying out relief work.

"Such weather is hampering our rescue and relief work, and it`s risky to operate large machines under such conditions," Zhang Yefu, an engineer who is leading a team to build makeshift shelters in Lushan county, was quoted by the state-run Xinhua news agency as saying.

Sanitation conditions in the region are far from satisfactory as there is not enough clean water and locals are in need of toilets.

"People in the town are drinking water from wells or mountain springs, but we have no idea if it is clean enough or adequate," said 43-year-old Yang Yumei, from the township of Lingguan in Baoxing which is one of the counties that was worst-hit by the quake.

Zhang Zuyun, deputy head of Sichuan Provincial Health Department, said providing safe and clean drinking water to locals is a problem, noting that some people are suffering from diarrhoea.

Zhang said the local health authority is trying to send a water quality testing machine to the town.
In a settlement in Lingguan Middle School, tents have been set up to accommodate nearly 1,000 people, who have to share a few toilets in the school building.
As running water and electricity have been cut off, the toilets are getting dirty. A disaster relief team from the Chengdu Military Region Air Force began carrying out epidemic prevention work by spraying insecticide and disinfectant in worst-hit regions.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 19:56

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