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Chinese Premier visits epicenter after deadly quake


08:55, April 21, 2013

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (C), also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, inquires about victim rescue situation in the local hospital of the quake-hit Lushan County, southwest China's Sichuan Province, April 20, 2013. Li Keqiang arrived in Sichuan Saturday afternoon to deploy quake relief work. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

YA'AN, SICHUAN, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday afternoon visited the area torn by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in China's Sichuan Province, calling for wasting no time to save lives.

In the epicenter, Lushan County of Ya'an City, Li visited temporary settlements, hospitals, tents and climbing on a heap of ruin to see the disaster situation, expressed condolences to the victims and the survivors, and guided the rescue and relief work on site.

The earthquake hit Lushan County at 8:02 a.m. Beijing time Saturday. Authorities said at least 160 people have been killed and more than 6,700 injured as of 0:40 a.m. Sunday Beijing Time.

As the electricity supply had not yet been resumed, Li had to hold a meeting late Saturday night with flashlights in a tent in the epicenter Lushan County after seeing the disaster situation on the afternoon.

After listening to the reports from officials of Sichuan Province, the armed forces, armed police force and relevant government departments, Li endorsed the current rescue and disaster relief work, saying that the priority work of Sichuan province under current situation is the rescue and disaster relief, with saving lives as the chief mission.

Li urged local officials to check every house and make the utmost effort to save lives so long as there is one gleam of hope, deploy capable medical personnel to treat and cure the injured, and transfer seriously injured people outside in time so as to lower the mortality rate and disability rate.

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