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    Xi orders all rescue after 6.8 magnitude quake hits southwest China

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    BEIJING, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered all rescue efforts to minimize casualties after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked southwest China‘s Sichuan Province on Monday, stressing that saving lives should be the main task.

    Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, gave this instruction after the earthquake that hit Luding County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Monday at 12:52 p.m.The earthquake killed at least 21 people and injured more than 30, causing damage to infrastructure, such as water and electricity supply, transport and telecommunications.Xi stressed the strengthening of earthquake monitoring, protection against secondary disasters and adequate reception of those affected.While calling for increased efforts to ensure the safety of people’s lives and property, Xi asked the Ministry of Emergency Management and other departments to send teams to Sichuan to guide rescue operations and ordered the People’s Liberation Army and to the Police People’s Army to actively assist local disaster relief efforts.Premier Li Keqiang, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, urged an early assessment of the situation, as well rescue efforts and medical treatment at all times.He also urged residents to remain vigilant in the event of secondary disasters such as landslides, calling in the meantime for efforts to accommodate those quake-affected areas and repair damaged transportation and telecommunication infrastructure as soon as possible.As instructed by Xi and Li, departments such as Ministry of Emergency Management, Ministry of Natural Resources and the National Health Commission have all dispatched teams to earthquake-affected areas to provide guidance on disaster relief.The authorities in Sichuan Province and Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture organized personnel to carry out disaster relief missions and sent tents, quilts, cots and other resources to the areas affected by the earthquake.

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