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Emergency Workers Struggle with Survey of Quake-hit Inner Mongolia
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More than 100 emergency workers are surveying north China's vast Inner Mongolia region to assess damage and cases of need after an earthquake five days ago.

The officials are conducting door-to-door inquiries in two counties, or banners, to check for damage from the earthquake that measured 4.2 on the Richter scale last Friday.

One hundred tents, 300 quilts and 900 padded coats are being dispatched to relocated people whose homes were seriously damaged, said Bagatur, an official with the Civil Affairs Bureau of Bairin Right Banner.

More than 9,000 houses were damaged, affecting 16,000 people scattered in vast pasturing areas in Bairin and neighboring Ongniud Banner.

About 1,800 people were evacuated from uninhabitable homes and had to seek temporary shelter with relatives or neighbors.

No deaths have been reported from the quake.

The banner government has earmarked 400,000 yuan (US$ 50,600) worth of disaster relief materials, such as quilts, clothes, rice and oil, to those affected, said Xu Lijun, an official with Ongniud government.

An initial survey indicated the quake caused direct economic losses of five million yuan (US$ 630,000) in the two banners.

Poor road conditions and the vastness of the quake-affected areas had hindered emergency efforts, said Xu.

Civil affairs departments have pledged more aid to quake-hit areas after the survey, which is expected to be completed on Thursday, according to the Chifeng City Civil Affairs Bureau.

(Xinhua News Agency November 8, 2006)

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