Senior UN official extends "deep condolences" to victims of Ya'an earthquake

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A senior UN official on Saturday extended his "deep condolences" to the victims of a 7- magnitude earthquake which jolted southwest China's Sichuan Province early in the day.

The UN under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, Wu Hongbo, made the statement in his signed letter to Xu Deming, China's vice minister of land and resources, who is also the director-general of China's National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation.

"On behalf of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, I wish to extend my deep concerns to the victims of the earthquake and my heartfelt sympathies to the families who have lost their dearest ones," Wu said in the letter dated April 20, 2013.

The quake jolted Lushan County of Ya'an City in Sichuan Province at 8:02 a.m., Beijing time, on Saturday, claiming 152 lives and injuring more than 3,000 others as of 8:30 p.m., Beijing time, in the same day.

Meanwhile, Wu said that given the massive earthquake and the risk of aftershocks, he and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which he heads, "fully supports" the decision to re-schedule a forum in Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, which was originally slated for April 24-26.

The forum will be jointly hosted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation of China.

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