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Chinese president urges all-out relief efforts after quake

Tuesday, June 18th 2019, 7:05 pm - Death toll climbs after two strong earthquakes hit southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday night.

President Xi Jinping has ordered all-out efforts to organize relief work and rescue the injured after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday night.

The earthquake rattled Changning County of Yibin City in Sichuan at 22:55 on Monday (Beijing Time). The epicenter, with a depth of 16 km, was monitored at 28.34 degrees north latitude and 104.90 degrees east longitude, said the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).

To date, the quake has left 13 people dead, 199 others injured and affected more than 140,000 residents.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, demanded in a written instruction that authorities give priority to searching the people and rescuing those injured, and minimize casualties.

Xi asked the People's Liberation Army and the armed police force to support and cooperate with local governments in rescue and relief work.

He stressed adopting a scientific approach to rescue operations, strengthening quake monitoring, guarding against secondary disasters, restoring water and electricity supply, transportation and telecommunication as soon as possible, and properly settling the affected people.

SEE ALSO: Strong earthquake hits Japan, prompts tsunami advisory

Noting that heavy rainfall in some parts of the country has triggered floods, landslides and other disasters amid the current flood season, Xi asked local authorities to take precautions and carry out rescue operations to ensure the safety of the people's lives and property.

Premier Li Keqiang, in another written instruction, also required immediate and all-out efforts to verify the disaster situation, organize relief work and rescue the injured.

Ordering rapid rebuilding of damaged transportation and telecommunication infrastructure, the premier stressed timely information release and maintaining stable social order in quake-stricken areas.

The Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Emergency Management and the Ministry of Natural Resources should instruct and assist local authorities in guarding against and responding to natural disasters triggered by torrential rain during the flood season, Li said.

The provincial authorities of Sichuan and the municipal authorities of Yibin are organizing bridge and geological experts, as well as rescue teams to engage in rescue and relief operations. The authorities also sent a batch of relief supplies including tents, quilts and folding beds to the residents in affected areas.

The rescue and relief work is currently underway in an intense but orderly manner.

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