China: Cotton-padded tents in pressing need in quake-hit areas

LANZHOU, Oct. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- More cotton-padded tents are badly in need in Zhangye city in northwestern Gansu province, which was hit by twin tremors Saturday night, as most of the quake victims are now huddling in makeshift shelters in jolted areas where temperature drops to five degrees below zero Celsius at night, a civil affairs official said.

The official with the Gansu Provincial Civil Affairs Bureau arrived at the county of Yongle at 5:10 a.m. Monday to oversee transport and delivery of 220 cotton-padded tents from his bureau to local victims.

Meanwhile, another batch of cotton-padded tents had reached Shandan County, also a severe quake-hit area.

A total of 1,000 cotton-padded tents transported from the city of Changsha incental-south Hunan province by the Ministry of Civilaffairs are on the way and will arrive at the destinations within the next two to three days.

The twin quakes, measuring 6.1 and 5.8 degrees on the Richter scale, jolted areas between Minle and Shandan counties of Zhangye city in Gansu at 20:41 and 20.48 hours on Saturday. The two counties are a direct distance of 33 km from Lanzhou, capital of the province.

By Sunday afternoon, nine people were confirmed dead form the quakes, and six were injured seriously wounded and 37 slightly, according to Wu Jinbing, a senior official with the Gansu Provincial Seismological bureau.

According to preliminary statistics from Zhangye city, the quakes have caused an economic loss of 327 million yuan (37.4 million US dollars, involving 46,491 households) in 175 villages, flattening 14,322 houses, killing or injuring 16,219 heads of livestock and destroying 5,800 hectares of farmland.

In Yaozhai village, which was worst affected, more than 2,000 villagers each got a share of instant noodle for their breakfast. A batch of relief food and other materials are due to arrive at the village in the afternoon. Enditem