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China did not detect deadly quake: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) May 12, 2008
Chinese authorities did not detect any warning signs ahead of Monday's earthquake that killed more than 8,600 people, state media reported.

"Monitoring before the earthquake did not detect any macroscopic abnormalities, and did not catch any relevant information," said Deng Changwen, deputy head of Sichuan province's earthquake department.

But Deng, quoted by the Chengdu Business Newspaper, defended China's earthquake monitoring systems.

"Predicting earthquakes is a difficult science, and in fact, our earthquake prediction level is quite high," he said.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan province shortly before 2:30 pm (0630 GMT) on Monday.

A total of 8,533 people have died in Sichuan, Xinhua reported in a separate dispatch.

Xinhua, citing the disaster relief headquarters, also reported 48 people were killed in northwestern Gansu province, 50 in the municipality of Chongqing, 61 in Shaanxi province, and one in southwestern Yunnan.

All of those provinces and Chongqing, a special municipality of more than 30 million people, border Sichuan.

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No news from county at epicentre of China quake: Xinhua
Beijing (AFP) May 12, 2008
There has been no news from the county in southwest China at the epicentre of a deadly earthquake, more than nine hours after the disaster struck on Monday, state press reported.

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