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Earthquake death toll rises to 68,858
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The death toll from China's earthquake on May 12 increased by about 340 overnight to 68,858 as of Friday noon, the Information Office of the State Council said.

Another 366,586 people were counted as injured and 18,618 were still listed as missing.

The office said that 45.55 million people were affected by the quake, of whom 15.15 million had been relocated.

Hospitals had treated 88,617 injured survivors as of Friday noon, of whom 58,356 had been discharged, 13,828 were still being treated and 8,668 had been transferred outside of Sichuan Province for further treatment.

Hospitals in 20 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have admitted the transferred patients, the office said.

As of Thursday, rescuers had found and evacuated 764,788 people, of whom 6,541 were dug out from under debris.

Also, 3,400 temporary shelters have been set up in and 664,500 tents sent to the quake areas. Another 6,300 temporary shelters were being erected and 23,500 were being shipped to the quake regions.

Other relief supplies including 4.27 million cotton-padded quilts, 10.4 million garments, 560,000 tons of fuel oil and 1.15 million tons of coal have also been sent.

Domestic and foreign donations stood at 39.9 billion yuan (about 5.7 billion U.S. dollars), up 2.6 billion yuan since Thursday. Almost 10.7 billion yuan in cash and goods had been forwarded to the disaster area, the office said.

Government disaster relief funds have hit 22.42 billion yuan, up 1.48 billion yuan overnight. The fund included 18.14 billion yuan from the central government and 4.28 billion yuan from local governments.

From Thursday noon to Friday noon, 174 aftershocks were monitored in southwest China's quake zones.

There were two aftershocks measuring between 4.0 and 4.9 on the Richter scale, while 172 measured below magnitude 3.9. No aftershocks above magnitude 5 were monitored during the 24 hours, the office said. A total of 9,304 aftershocks have been detected since May 12.

(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2008)

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