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Flooding, mudslides follow earthquake

Death toll rises as aftershocks hit province

Relief workers rescue a man from the disaster area (Photo courtesy Yiliang county government) Relief workers rescue a man from the disaster area (Photo courtesy Yiliang county government)
  • Ucanews.com reporter, Shijiazhuang
  • China
  • September 12, 2012
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Relief workers continued to struggle today to reach survivors of multiple earthquakes that struck on Friday in Yunnan province that claimed the lives of at least 81 people and injured 821.

Aftershocks ranging from 2.0- to 5.6-magnitude have shook the region in Yiliang county while torrential rain that began on Monday night has caused flooding and mudslides. Quake victims have been evacuated as many relocation sites have been destroyed.

Victims need emergency materials such as tents, food and drinking water, said Father John Ren Dahai, secretary general for the Jinde Charities Foundation.

“I told our workers to keep watch for needs in areas that suffered minor damage, as the government and other charitable organizations are already focused on the hardest-hit areas and have delivered abundant relief materials,” Fr. Ren said.

Workers from the Shijiazhuang-based Catholic charity were en route today from another quake site in Yingjiang county where they had been working on reconstruction projects following a 5.8-magnitude quake in March 2011.

According to Fr. Huang Xiaojin, a newly ordained priest who serves in Yiliang, no churches were badly affected but the houses of many parishioners were seriously damaged.

There are 6,000 Catholics in the county of 550,000 people. Fr. Huang said he has not received reports of any casualties among them.

Last week's earthquakes have affected up to 744,000 people and caused direct economic loss of an estimated 3.5 billion yuan (US$553 million).

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