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3 dead, 88 injured in 6.0-magnitude Sichuan earthquake
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3 dead, 88 injured in 6.0-magnitude Sichuan earthquake

Three people were confirmed dead and 88 others were sent to hospital after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted Luxian County in the city of Luzhou, in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Among those hospitalized, three were seriously injured, according to the city's emergency management bureau.

China Earthquake Administration has dispatched a work team to guide on-site disaster-relief work. A total of 890 commanders and fighters from nearby fire-fighting and rescue brigades have been mobilized, while another 4,600 rescue workers are on standby.

As of 8:30 a.m., the loss figures came in as follows: 737 collapsed houses; 72 houses with serious damage; and 7,290 damaged to some extent.

Collapsed walls and houses were seen on the way to rain-battered Jiaming Township in the epicenter area. Electricity in most of the houses in the town has been suspended. Shelves from shops that fell off during the tremors, lay scattered along the street. Residents were seen cleaning up the cluttered scene.

The provincial department of finance has allocated 50 million yuan (about 7.8 million U.S. dollars) to support disaster-relief efforts, including the settlement of affected residents.

Amid heavy rain in Fuji Township, rescue workers were going door to door searching for people in the damaged houses and moving them to temporary shelters. At the shelter, workers were distributing mooncakes and other food items to the affected people.

Lai Jianrong, a Fuji local, told Xinhua reporters that she experienced a mild tremor around 4 a.m., and ran out barefoot in her nightgown when the tremors became intense.

"Some bricks fell off the wall and I didn't dare to go in again," she said. She was moved to the temporary shelter in the morning.

More than 6,900 affected residents have been relocated, and over 10,000 people have been shifted to temporary shelters as of early Thursday morning, according to the local government.

China's Ministry of Emergency Management has allocated 2,000 tents, 10,000 quilts, and 10,000 folding beds to the residents.

Sufficient supplies of petrol have also been guaranteed, with over 60 vehicles mobilized to transport petroleum products to the quake-hit areas, according to the Luzhou branch with the China National Petroleum Corporation.

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, the earthquake occurred at 4:33 a.m. The epicenter was monitored at 29.2 degrees north latitude and 105.34 degrees east longitude. The quake struck at a depth of 10 km.

Approved by the provincial government, the earthquake relief headquarters of Sichuan has activated a level-II response, the second-highest in China's four-tier earthquake emergency response system.

Some telecommunication base stations and cables were damaged.

The Luzhou high-speed railway station has been closed, according to railway authorities.

All coal mines have been ordered to halt underground operations and evacuate miners in shafts.

Zhang Zhiwei, deputy head of the Sichuan earthquake administration, said the quake, unlike the devastating Wenchuan Earthquake and Lushan Earthquake in the province, happened in the fracture zone of Huaying Mountain.

An expert analysis concluded that a more serious earthquake is unlikely in the area, but aftershocks may occur.

XinhuaGu Yetao

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