2,000 soldiers dispatched to quake-hit areas

Updated: 2013-07-22 17:33


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BEIJING - More than 2,000 soldiers and officers as well as two helicopters were dispatched to quake-hit areas in Northwest China's Gansu province on Monday after an earthquake left at least 56 people dead.

A 6.6-magnitude quake jolted the junction of Minxian county and Zhangxian county in Gansu at 7:45 am , killing 56 people and injuring 392 others.

As of 2:30 pm, rescue teams sent by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Lanzhou Military Area Command have arrived at the quake zone to carry out disaster relief work.

Earlier on Monday, the China Earthquake Administration initiated an emergency-response plan to closely monitor the quake and send disaster-relief teams to the affected areas, the administration said.

The National Committee for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs also launched an emergency response and sent work teams to the quake zone.

The Gansu Provincial Department of Civil Affairs has allocated 500 tents and 2,000 cotton sheets to the quake zone. The work team is trying to relocate residents from dangerous areas to safety.

According to the Fire Department of Ministry of Public Security, more than 300 police officers have been dispatched to help with disaster-relief work.

More than 50 medical workers have been sent to quake-hit areas and another group of medical workers including mental health experts will also be dispatched, according to health authorities in the province.

The Red Cross Society of China said that work teams and disaster relief materials have been sent to the quake zone, including 200 tents, 2,000 jackets and 1,000 commodity packs, which consist of items such as electric torches, towels, T-shirts, lunch boxes and slippers.

The epicenter of the quake, with a depth of 20 km, was 170 km away from the provincial capital of Lanzhou.

A later 5.6-magnitude aftershock jolted the same area at 9:12 am.