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Supplies badly needed in quake hit NW region
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Tents, winter clothing and medicine were badly needed in quake-hit Wuqia County, a mountainous area also swept by continuous rain in the far west of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local authorities said here on Thursday.

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted the county on Sunday night, affecting 7,645 people. More than 700 houses suffered structural damage, while four collapsed. No casualties were yet reported.

As of Thursday afternoon, the rain that started on Wednesday evening had not stopped, lowering the temperature to minus 3 to minus 5 degrees Celsius. The sky was overcast and there could be a chance of more rain in the following days, according to county officials.

Up to Wednesday, the quake-hit zone had received 50 tents, 500 quilts, 500 clothes and 500 tons of coal, which was far from enough, according to the county government.

Jigen Town, the epicenter, needed 400 tents, 1,200 tons of coal, 400 tons of flour and 400 tons of fodder, said Fan Baojun, the county's party chief, adding another three towns were also affected.

"I am worried the heavy rain would damage the houses shaken by the earthquake. More people would suffer from the cold."

The quake zone in the Pamirs was about 100 km from the county seat of Wuqia County at the conjunction of the south of the Tianshan and Kunlun mountains. Poor traffic conditions and telecommunications made it difficult to transport supplies from outside.

More than 1,000 locals with 30 vehicles were dispatched for the rescue work. About 60 doctors were working in the quake zone to provide emergency medical care as well as disease control and prevention.

(Xinhua News Agency October 9, 2008)

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