|Villagers unload relief supplies from a helicopter in Longjing Village of Longtoushan Town in Ludian County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 6, 2014. Death toll from a 6.5-magnitude earthquake that hit Yunnan on Sunday rose to 589. (Xinhua/Xue Yubin)
KUNMING, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Another 179 people have been confirmed dead almost three days after a powerful earthquake devastated southwest China, bringing the overall toll to 589, local authorities said on Wednesday.
Nine people are still missing, according to the latest figures from the civil affairs department of Yunnan, the province which was hit by the 6.5-magnitude tremor on Sunday.
Officials with the local quake relief headquarters attributed the sharp toll rise to delayed confirmation due to the inaccessibility and remoteness of many quake-hit villages in the mountainous region.
Among the reported deaths, 504 were in the worst-hit Ludian County and 72 in Qiaojia County.
The official tally showed that in addition to the deaths, there were 2,401 people injured in the 6.5-magnitude quake.
The earthquake, the strongest to strike the area in 14 years, occurred at 4:30 p.m. Sunday (Beijing Time) with its epicenter in Longtoushan Township, Ludian County in Zhaotong City, affecting 1.08 million people in the cities of Zhaotong and Qujing.
The missing have all been reported in Qiaojia.