Armed police soldiers dismantle a dilapidated house damaged in a quake in Yutian County, Hotan Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Feb. 13, 2014. A 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck China's far-western region of Xinjiang on Wednesday afternoon has affected more than 7,800 people, while no casualties have been reported. (Xinhua/Zhao Feng)
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LANZHOU, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- More than 180 troops have been sent to the quake zone in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region hit by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake on Wednesday.
Rice, flour, cooking oil, mutton and medicine had been rushed to the quake zone and distributed to the local people as of Wednesday night.
Two military helicopters were used on Thursday for inspection of reservoirs and mountainous areas near the epicenter.
All reservoirs are safe but roads to some mountainous areas are blocked, said pilot Li Yongjun.
More troops will be dispatched to the zone to set up tents, evacuate local people, clear debris, make dangerous buildings safe, provide medical services and prevent epidemics, officers said.
The epicenter is in a sparsely populated area with an average altitude of 5,000 meters. It is more than 50 km away from the nearest settlement, Aqqan village in Yutian County, and more than 900 km away from the regional capital of Urumqi.
Sixty-seven houses collapsed and more than 1,000 were damaged to varying degrees, local authorities said Wednesday. Over a 185 livestock deaths were reported.
President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang ordered concerted efforts to guarantee safety and property and issued instructions on relief work soon after the quake.
Local authorities and departments were urged to check disaster situations, conduct emergency management and strengthen seismic monitoring.