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22 rescued after NW China earthquake


10:25, July 25, 2013

LANZHOU, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Firefighters have rescued 22 people from debris after a 6.6-magnitude quake hit northwest China's Gansu Province on Monday, local authorities said Wednesday.

A total of 268,400 people have been relocated after the quake, which has killed at least 95 people and injured another 1,461, the provincial earthquake relief headquarters said.

Seventy-nine of the injured have been sent to provincial hospitals to receive more specialized care.

Electricity and telecommunication facilities were back online in the quake zone as of Wednesday morning.

Wednesday marked the first 72 hours directly following the quake, a period of time considered to be crucial in lifesaving efforts.

The provincial fire department have deployed 520 firefighters and 70 fire trucks to join in rescue efforts after the quake. More than 4,000 soldiers and armed police have also joined in rescue efforts.

All of the 2,200 people living in the hard-hit village of Yongguang are in need of shelter, according to Guo Yongbi, the village's Communist Party of China (CPC) secretary.

Wang Sanyun, secretary of Gansu's provincial CPC committee, said rescue work is going smoothly, adding that efforts to maintain transportation, prevent secondary disasters and help victims return to their daily lives are being prioritized.

Rain started to fall in the quake zone on Wednesday afternoon and will continue until Thursday, according to local meteorological authorities.

The rain will affect relocation efforts and the transportation of relief supplies, said Wang Fazheng, deputy head of Minxian County government.

Local authorities have adopted preventative measures and sent staff to relocation sites, he said.

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