Sichuan-based nuclear power facilities safe

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Sichuan-based nuclear power facilities are safe and no abnormalities have been detected in environmental radiation monitoring following a 7.0-magnitude quake, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) announced.

The MEP has sent a team to the epicenter to direct works of screening environmental hazards and emergency monitoring after the quake hit Ya'an in southwest China's Sichuan Province Saturday morning.

The MEP said local drinking water had not been contaminated so far and there were no chemical plants or other environmentally hazardous facilities in Lushan county of Ya'an.

Other central government ministries are also carrying out relief work.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs has dispatched relief materials to the ground, including 30,000 tents, 50,000 cotton blankets and 10,000 make-shift beds.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission has dispatched a national medical emergency response team consisting of more than 180 doctors to the ground.

Besides, a Chinese international medical relief team is heading to the quake-hit areas.

The team, which consists of 19 doctors from the General Hospital of Armed Police Forces, will be taking surgery equipment and more than 5,000 types of medicine to the quake-hit region.

Also, a relief team made up by 11 rehabilitation therapists summoned by the China Disabled Person's Federation was expected to arrive in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan, Sunday morning.

The Ministry of Education announced that no students had died in schools in the quake as of 5:40 p.m.

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has also dispatched a command team, as well as more than 6,000 policemen, fire-fighters to the ground for search-and-rescue and road clearing.

The MPS command center reported that the Chengya expressway connecting Chengdu and Ya'an was clear for traffic.

Sichuan provincial transportation authority has imposed traffic controls on several expressways and routes leading to the epicenter and all roads in quake-hit areas, according to the MPS.

The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has launched an emergency response, ordering the update of latest weather conditions for the quake-hit region.

The CMA has also ordered close satellite monitoring of the quake-hit region and disaster analysis.

The CMA's National Meteorological Center forecasted that it will mainly be overcast in Lushan, the epicenter, during the next three days. It will rain occasionally with slight winds, and the temperature will between 16 and 23 degrees Celsius.

A work team comprising of officials from eight ministries, including civil affairs, health, transport and others, has rushed to the epicenter to direct quake-relief work earlier Saturday.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Lushan county of Ya'an City in southwest Sichuan Province at 8:02 a.m. Saturday Beijing time.

The China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) reported that as of 8 p.m, 712 aftershocks had been detected, including 50 above 3.0 magnitude.

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