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Over 2,200 soldiers, aircraft deployed to quake-hit Sichuan


13:28, April 20, 2013

CHENGDU, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese military authorities have deployed more than 2,200 soldiers and several aircraft to the area hit by a 7.0-magnitude quake in southwest China's Sichuan Province to help with rescue and relief efforts.

About 2,000 soldiers from Chengdu Military Area Command (MAC) of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) were rushing to the epicenter, while two helicopters were tasked with finding out more about the situation on the ground.

Another rescue team with about 220 soldiers from a PLA Air Force unit in Sichuan have also been dispatched to the quake-hit area.

The Air Force Commander General Ma Xiaotian, who was overseeing the Air Force's units in the southwest, suspended his official trip and has set up an Air Force headquarter for quake relief in Sichuan's Qionglai county.

The Air Force Command also scrambled two reconnaissance aircraft from Beijing at 10:08 a.m. and 11:42 a.m. Saturday to take aerial photographs over the quake-hit area in Sichuan.

A transport aircraft was scrambled to Kunming of southwest Yunnan Province from where it will take a national rescue and relief team and transport it to the quake-hit area.

The Chengdu MAC has already set up a quake relief and rescue headquarters and the MAC's air force troops are ready to dispatch quake-relief teams to the epicenter.

The MAC has also set up medical aid, transport and engineering teams to assist in the quake-hit region.

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