Chinese leaders order all-out rescue efforts after M-7.0 quake
                 English.news.cn | 2013-04-20 11:56:28 | Editor: Lu Hui

BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang ordered all possible measures to be taken to rescue victims and minimize deaths and injuries, after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the southwestern Sichuan Province Saturday morning.

Instructions released require obtaining information of the disaster quickly, prioritizing lives and making every possible effort to rescue people.

Rescue work should be done in a scientific way, reducing casualties to a minimum, according to the instructions.

The instructions also urged the strengthening of seismic monitoring, taking concrete steps to prevent secondary disasters, resettling affected people properly and safeguarding social stability of the quake-hit zone.

The State Council, or the cabinet, has launched a first-grade emergency response to the earthquake. Ministries, armed forces and armed police are heading to the quake zone.

Leaders of Sichuan Province have arrived at the epicenter and rescue and relief work is underway.

The earthquake jolted Lushan County of Ya'an City at 8:02 a.m. Beijing Time. Fifty-six people have so far been confirmed to have died, according to latest figures provided by the provincial earthquake relief headquarters.

The epicenter, with a depth of 13 km, was monitored at 30.3 degrees north latitude and 103.0 degrees east longitude.

Ya'an has a population of 1.53 million and is known as the hometown of the giant panda. It is about 140 kilometers away from the provincial capital Chengdu City.

Related:

Nearly 30 dead, 400 injured in SW China earthquake: official

CHENGDU, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 30 people were killed and at least 400 injured in the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province, said Xu Mengjia, secretary of the CPC Ya'an Municipal Committee.

The earthquake hit Lushan county of Ya'an city in Sichuan Province at 8:02 a.m. Saturday Beijing Time, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC). Full story

Over 2,000 soldiers rush to quake-hit area for rescue

CHENGDU, April 20 (Xinhua) -- More than 2,000 soldiers were rushing to the area hit by a 7.0-magnitude quake in southwest China's Sichuan Province for rescue and relief work, military sources said Saturday.

The 2,000 soldiers were from the Chengdu Military Area Command (MAC). Meanwhile, two helicopters of the Chengdu MAC took off at 9:18 a.m from Jiajiang county to learn the developments on the ground. Full story

7.0-magnitude earthquake hits SW China's Sichuan

CHENGDU, April 20 (Xinhua) -- A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Lushan county of Ya'an city in southwest China's Sichuan Province at 8:02 a.m. Saturday Beijing Time, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).

The epicenter, with a depth of 13 km, was monitored at 30.3 degrees north latitude and 103.0 degrees east longitude. Full story

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