KUNMING, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- More than 2,500 officers and soldiers have been dispatched to join the disaster relief operation in a southwestern Chinese county after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck the area Sunday afternoon.
The Chengdu Military Area Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) started an emergency plan immediately after the quake.
As of 8 p.m. Sunday Beijing Time, over 2,500 officers and soldiers, including those in active service and reserve duty as well as militia have gone to join the quake relief, with some of them rushing to the quake-hit area.
The strong quake occurred at 4:30 p.m. Sunday (Beijing Time) with a depth of 12 km and the epicenter in Longtoushan township, 23 km southwest of the county seat of Ludian, Zhaotong City.
At least 150 people have been killed and 180 others are missing.
PLA troops brought life detection instruments, excavating tools and other disaster relief equipment to the area. The military also deployed medical and disease-control stuff to the area, with surgical operating vehicles, field water purification vehicles and other equipment.
CMAC ordered its troops to put in more staff if necessary, and bring tents, food stuff, medicines and other materials to the quake-hit area.