Quake Death Toll Reaches 9,219

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May 13 – The death toll from the 7.8 magnitude quake that hit southwest China’s Sichuan province has reached 9,219. Those killed numbered 8,993 in Sichuan, 132 in Gansu, 85 in Shaanxi, eight in Chongqing and one in Yunnan, according to sources.The death toll is expected to increase as earthquake relief and rescue efforts progress.

Chinese president Hu Jintao has made earthquake rescue and relief top priority at all government levels with the army, armed police, paramilitary forces, and medical personnel deployed to quake-hit areas.

The State Disaster Relief Commission and the Civil Affairs Ministry has issued a Level I emergency response plan to deal with the disaster. The Level I emergency plan is for the highest degree of natural disasters.

More…As of Tuesday morning, the Sichuan provincial seismological bureau reported more than 1,180 tremors up to six magnitude.

Following the quake, major highways and expressways have been closed in Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces. In addition, the expressway linking the provincial capital of Chengdu to Mianyang city has been shut-down since 2:28 pm Monday.