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72,000 in epicenter relocated before rain
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A total of 72,000 people in quake-hit Wenchuan County of Sichuan Province, whose lives were threatened by secondary disasters including landslide, have been relocated hours before it started to rain on Wednesday night.

The three-day mass relocation concluded at 8 p.m., said the Aba prefectural work team of disaster prevention, just two hours before a heavy rain hit the county.

Emergency workers have built 2,458 makeshift houses and 34,000 tents for the displaced people.

The Aba prefectural government started the relocation of 110,000residents, including 72,000 in Wenchuan, from highly-dangerous terrain on Sunday.

Wu Zegang, deputy party secretary of Aba, said the risks of inundation and geological disasters such as landslide will rise in the looming main flood season.

"The top priority of our relief work is to transfer the residents whose lives are menaced by secondary disasters to safer areas," Wu said.

Aba Prefecture, inhabited mainly by Tibetans and people of the Qiang ethnic group governs 13 counties including Wenchuan, the epicenter of the quake.

The powerful 8.0 magnitude quake struck Sichuan Province with Wenchuan as its epicenter. In Wenchuan alone, 15,941 people were killed, leaving 7,662 missing and 34,583 injured.

(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2008)

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