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Death toll from fresh Sichuan quake rises to 25
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One more death was reported in Huili, a hard-hit Sichuan Province county in Saturday's 6.1-magnitude quake, as of 11 a.m. on Sunday, bringing the number of dead to 25.

The quake also injured 192. Three others were missing in Huili, which falls under the jurisdiction of Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Liangshan, a neighbor of Panzhihua City, the epicenter of the quake, according to Huili County Headquarters of Quake Control and Relief.

No details were available about the dead person.

The quake struck the juncture of Renhe District in Panzhihua and Huili County in Liangshan prefecture at 4:30 p.m. (Beijing time). The epicenter was about 50 km southeast of downtown Panzhihua, at 26.2 degrees north latitude and 101.9 degrees east longitude. It was at a depth of 10 km, the China Earthquake Administration said.

Areas affected by the quake were Panzhihua, Huili of Liangshan, both in Sichuan, and Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Chuxiong, Bai Autonomous Prefecture of Dali and Zhaotong City, all in Yunnan Province. Kunming, the Yunnan capital, was also hit.

Most of the fatalities, however, were in Huili, followed by Chuxiong and Panzhihua. All three areas are on the southern end of the fault line of the May 12 quake that left 69,226 people dead, 17,923 missing and 374,643 others injured.

Another 6.0-plus magnitude quake, however, was not expected in the area in the next two weeks, said Liu Jie, chief forecaster of the Beijing-based Chinese Seismographic Information Center, on Saturday.

More than 300 aftershocks were also monitored in the quake zone as of 5 a.m. on Sunday, according to Chinese earthquake networks.

The office for the emergency response of Panzhihua City said preliminary investigations showed three people were killed and 65 were injured in the quake.

Panzhihua City Quake Control and Relief Headquarters on Sunday confirmed 70,462 people in the city were affected by the quake. In addition,32,247 people were displaced.

In total, 38,425 residences suffered damage in the quake, of which 363 homes were toppled. Seven reservoirs, 22 highways and three bridges were also damaged.

Jing Peilang, a Panzhihua quake control and relief official, warned because of the destruction to school buildings, more than 40 primary and middle schools in the city would not open for the new semester starting on Monday.

Further south, about 440,000 people in four regions of Yunnan, a neighboring province to Sichuan, were affected by the quake. This included five deaths, 108 injured and the destruction of 130,00 residences, said a Yunnan Provincial Bureau of Civil Affairs source.

The worst hit was Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Chuxiong where the five deaths were recorded. The direct economic loss was placed at 500 million yuan (about 73 million U.S. dollars), according to the office for the quake control and relief headquarters of Chuxiong.

A doctor is treating a man who was injured in a new deadly earthquake, Panzhihua, Sichuan Province. [Xinhua]

On Saturday, China Earthquake Administration launched a class-three emergency response and dispatched an on-site working team to offer assistance after the quake struck.

In addition, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs began a level-four emergency response mechanism at 5 p.m. The civil affairs departments in Panzhihua and Yunnan began a class-three emergency response to cope with the aftermath of the quake.

Party and government authorities of Panzhihua rushed to the quake zone to direct relief efforts. Relief materials, including water, food and 300 tents, as well as emergency financial aid of 5 million yuan, were sent to the quake-affected areas.

More than 2,000 people in Huili were mobilized to join the relief operation that was hampered by heavy rain late on Saturday and early Sunday.

In total, 1,200 tents, together with about 10 tons of food and water were sent to quake zones in Huili, according to Huang Ling, the Huili County Government deputy chief.

The Yunnan Provincial Bureau of Civil Affairs said it had already sent relief materials including 3,200 tents, 1,000 cotton-padded quilts and 25 tons of rice to quake zones in the province. Chuxiong Prefecture had also allocated 350,000 yuan for disaster relief.

(Xinhua News Agency August 31, 2008)

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