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China earthquake death toll rises to 589

Beijing - The death toll rose to 589 Wednesday from an earthquake in south-western China, with nine people still missing and 2,401 injured, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

Military and civilian rescue teams were still battling to send medical aid and relief supplies to remote villages in the mountainous region.

They were clearing blocked roads and trying to drain several barrier lakes formed by landslides.

Sunday’s 6.5-magnitude quake was the most damaging one in Yunnan province for 14 years, forcing the evacuation of 230,000 people from collapsed homes and vulnerable areas, the provincial government said.

About 10,000 soldiers and a similar number of police and civilian volunteers had joined the rescue effort, state media said.

The work was hampered by heavy rain and hundreds of aftershocks, bringing a constant risk of more landslides.

DPA


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