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130,000 troops in rescue operations
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As of 8:00 a.m. Thursday, more than 130,000 troops were engaged in rescue operations in areas ravaged by the quake.

Also, by Thursday morning, rescuers had reached all 58 counties and towns stricken by Monday's massive quake.

As of 8:00 a.m. Thursday, military transporters and helicopters had taken 300 flights to transport or airdrop rescuers and relief supplies.

With the prime time for survivors' rescue, 72 hours after the quake,passing, rescuers are desperate to excavate survivors.

Sniffer dogs were also dispatched to the quake-hit region to assist in search-and-rescue. In Dujiangyan City, sniffer dogs helped a group of armed forces from Beijing Military Area Command to search for survivors.

Among 38 survivors excavated from the debris, eight were discovered by sniffer dogs, sources with the Beijing Military Area Command said.

The railways are being used to ship in soldiers and relief aid. Of the 56 trains carrying 28,000 troops to quake-hit areas, 21 trains, or more than 10,000 soldiers arrived before 6 p.m. Thursday, said a Chinese Ministry of Railways spokesman.

A total of 844 railcars of civil materials are also en route, including 79,700 tents, 828,600 boxes of water, 18,870 pieces of medicine, and 351,100 cotton-padded coats and blankets, said Wang Yongping.

Also on the way are 157 railcars of rescue machinery and ambulances, 7 railcars of oil and 69 railcars of steel and other materials.

The ministry has collected plenty of empty passenger cars, box cars and container flat-cars standing by for emergency use, Wang said.

Meanwhile, the Army has so far dispatched 72 medical teams with over 2,160 doctors and assistants to the affected areas, along with 20,000 bags of blood and a large amount of medical equipment and medicine worth 37 million yuan (about 5.2 million U.S. dollars).

The Army has also opened audio-visual channels on its remote diagnosis website to conduct remote diagnosis in affected areas including Chengdu, Mianyang and Leshan cities.

Moreover, the Health Department of the General Logistic Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will send another 16 medical teams as well as more ambulances and other kinds of medical vehicles to the affected areas, to carry injured, prevent epidemic diseases and conduct surgical operations in the field.

More than 6,800 PLA parachutists were in Deyang and Mianzhu cities and Wenchuan County, to help relief work.

On Wednesday, they rescued 13 people from the ruins, dug up 125 dead bodies, and buried 350 corpses. Meanwhile, they repaired six kilometers of roads, discovered over 20,000 yuan (2,800 U.S. dollars) in cash and returned it to owners, and transported over 50 tonnes of relief goods by hand.

Except for a small number of who were parachuted into the affected areas, the majority of them had to march to the site, because of difficult weather conditions, according to military sources.

(Xinhua News Agency May 15, 2008)

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