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Over 200,000 homes in China's southwest Sichuan Province, devastated
Over 200,000 homes in China's southwest Sichuan Province, devastated by a deadly quake May 12, are in danger of collapsing following a new deadly aftershock, the China Daily newspaper reported on Monday.

The quake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale left at least six people dead and over 800 injured. The latest tremor, which was felt even in the country's capital Beijing, reduced a total of 71,000 buildings to rubble.

"These dead cities should be completely pulled down and rebuilt" a source in Russia's rescue mission to China said. "The homes that did not crumble are unsuitable to live in."

Another Russian plane with tents for some of the five-million homeless survivors landed at Chengdu airport early on Monday. Around five million buildings have collapsed since the earthquake first struck.

Landslides, triggered by previous aftershocks, have created around 35 lakes which are a real threat to the local population. In addition, a total of 69 dams are in danger of collapsing and have been classed as "highly dangerous." The situation is being aggravated by unfavorable weather and predicted further heavy rain.

Meanwhile, a group of soldiers carrying 10 kg of explosives each have been sent to the Tangjiashan "quake lake" in Beichuan County, formed after landslides dammed a local river. They are expected to blast a hole in the lake's barrier to gradually drain 128 million cu m of water to ease the threat of flooding.

The official death toll from the quake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, now stands at 62,664, with another 23,775 people missing. However, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said the death toll is likely to exceed 80,000.


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