09/01/2008, 00.00
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Quakes rock Sichuan and Yunnan. Dozens dead, hundreds of thousands homeless

The same seismic zone of last May’s earthquake is hit. Hundreds of schools destroyed. Aid begins to trickle through, but not enough to meet needs.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The la test in a series of quakes to hit Sichuan and Yunnan has already left 32 people dead and at least 400 injured.  The epicentre of the 6.1 magnitude quake was Renhe, Panzhihua county and Huili county, in the prefecture of Liangshang. Both areas are part of the seismic zone that was rocked by a devastating earthquake on May 12th last which left over 70 thousand people dead and at least 5 million others homeless.

According to the Quake Control and Relief Headquarters, more than 70,000 people in the city were affected by the quake. In addition, more than 32,000 people were forced to leave their homes, damaged by the tremors. 363 houses have been destroyed so far; bridges and roads have also been damaged.

Over 100 schools were hit rendering the beginning of the new semester almost impossible. Already in the wake of last May’s earthquake, controversy arouse over the poor quality of school buildings, which gave way immediately burying over 8 thousand children and students.

Yunnan, bordering Sichuan, was also hit. 5 deaths have been registered there so far, over 170 injured and 130 thousand homes destroyed.  At least 600 thousand people have been affected.

Relief work is already underway, but it is minimal respect to the magnitude of the disaster: 10 tonnes of food have arrived in Panzhihua, along with 1300 tents. In Yunnan authorities have distributed 25 tonnes of rice and 3200 tents.





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