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Private donations from Macao reach over US$1 mln
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Donations to the Sichuan earthquake victims from Macao citizens and companies amounted to 8 million patacas (1 mln US dollars) so far, according to the figures released Tuesday respectively by the Macao Red Cross and the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Macao Special Administrative Region.

The Liaison Office received over 4 million patacas (500,000 US dollars) from some local companies and businessmen, while its staff also donated some 300,000 Hong Kong dollars (37,500 US dollars) to the victims.

The office said they will transfer the money to the Red Cross Society of China as soon as possible so that it can be used for the emergent earthquake relief operations in China's southwestern Sichuan Province.

The quake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, rocked Sichuan's Wenchuan County at 2:28 p.m. on Monday, according to the China Seismological Bureau

A senior official with the Sichuan provincial government said Tuesday the death toll in the province has exceeded 12,000, and is still rising.

The Macao Red Cross, which also received 4 million patacas in local donations so far, has called upon local communities to do more to help the earthquake victims.

Vong Ngai Wan, a spokesman for the Macao Red Cross, said the organization itself has donated 500,000 yuan (71,400 US dollars), and has sent some of its members, joining a mission organized by the Red Cross Society of China, to the quake-hit area in Sichuan, paying visit to the victims and assessing the damages there.

(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2008)

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