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  Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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The death toll from the May 12 earthquake in southwest China's
The death toll from the May 12 earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan province has climbed to over 65,000, the premier of the country's State Council announced on Monday.

Wen Jiabao said over 360,000 people had been injured, and that 23,000 were missing. Most of the missing are now presumed dead. Over 14 million people have been evacuated from the area.

Chinese authorities expect the final death toll to exceed 80,000. Another 700,000 people face the threat of flooding caused by the quake, which has created new lakes in the region. Sixty-nine dams in the Sichuan province are on the brink of collapse.

Over 8,400 tremors have so far been registered in the region since May 12, including five with magnitude of more than six on the Richter scale.

A large-scale rescue operation is underway in the damaged areas, involving thousands of Chinese military personnel. Russia is also rendering medical assistance and has sent several planeloads of emergency aid. Several other countries have also contributed to the ongoing operation.

The South China Morning Post said on Monday that more than 20 parents of children buried under collapsed schools staged a protest on Sunday in the ruined town of Manzhou. They blamed "shoddy school construction" for the deaths of their children.


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