Rescue & relief work reaches remote quake-hit villages

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Li Keqiang also called on the local government to guarantee the logistics and supply of medical resources as well as prevent new casualties in aftershocks and secondary disasters.

"In the next couple of days, you must make sure nobody will be allowed to enter these buildings that are prone to collapse. You must accommodate the victims in the tents in the open air. It is not allowed to have more casualties due to aftershocks."

Li Keqiang reassured locals not to be depressed by the disaster and ordered the guarantee of accommodations, food and safe water for residents in the quake zone. He also ordered the preparation of reconstruction work.

Many countries, including Russia, the U.S., Greece and Japan have expressed condolences for the quake victims, saying they are ready to offer any help if needed.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it is prepared to provide disaster relief support to China.

The magnitude-7.0 earthquake hit Lushan County of Ya'an City in Sichuan Province at two minutes past eight Saturday morning.

The quake was followed by more than 1,000 aftershocks, the largest of which was magnitude 5.9.

Another earthquake measuring a 5.4-magnitude hit the region on Sunday afternoon, but caused no casualties so far.

Fourteen earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or above have struck the area within 100 kilometers of its epicenter since 1900.

The devastating 8.0-magnitude Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008 left 87,000 people dead or missing.

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