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Rescuers find more survivors in China quake rubble

China reaches all quake-hit villages: govt
Relief workers on Monday reached the last of the earthquake-hit villages in China's southwestern Sichuan province, one week after the disaster, a local official said. Li Chengyun, Sichuan's vice governor, said rescuers had arrived in all 3,669 quake-hit villages by 2:28 pm (0628 GMT), when China marked three minutes of silence exactly one week after the tragedy. The last 77 villages were reached early Monday, Li said in the provincial capital Sichuan, as quoted by the official Xinhua news agency. The government has estimated that more than 50,000 people died in the 8.0 Richter-scale quake. But the toll could be even higher, with Sichuan authorities saying Monday that more than 71,000 people were dead, buried under rubble or missing.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) May 19, 2008
Three more people were pulled out of the rubble of China's earthquake on Monday after surviving a week trapped under the debris, state media said, but one of them later died.

An unidentified man in his 80s was dug out of the remains of his collapsed house in Beishan district on Monday morning after surviving more than 160 hours, state television reported.

"The quake happened so long before that villagers all thought this old person was no longer there," the report quoted army officer Qiu Chengliang, one of the man's rescuers, as saying.

"His leg was severed but he still doggedly clung to life."

The exact time of the man's rescue was not given. The location of Beishan was not immediately clear, but the report described it as seriously affected by the quake.

Rescuers also pulled out Li Lingcui, 61, who was freed from the rubble in Beichuan county, one of the worst-hit areas of Sichuan province, at around 10:40 am (0240 GMT), state-run CCTV said.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said she had an infection and many broken bones.

Another woman, 50-year-old Wang Huazhen, was pulled out from under a collapsed residential building at a coalmine in Hanwang town near Deyang city at 11:10 am (0310 GMT), Xinhua said.

She later died despite receiving medical care, CCTV later reported.

Xinhua had earlier given the woman's name as Wang Fazhen.

Dozens of such rescues over the past few days have provided a lift to the national mood following the disaster, which reduced entire towns to heaps of concrete and twisted steel.

China's worst national disaster in a generation has left more than 71,000 people dead, buried or missing, according to Sichuan authorities.

The country's government-controlled media has lavished attention on the rescues, which have included a number of children pinned inside collapsed schools and at least one pregnant woman.

However, many of the stories have involved victims having limbs amputated in desperate bids to save them, and the number of so-called miracle stories has tapered off since Saturday.

China came to a standstill Monday to mourn those who did not make it out of the rubble.

Air sirens wailed across the country as most motorists stopped and blared their horns, bringing an eerie halt to China's usually bustling big cities for three minutes from 2:28 pm (0628 GMT), the moment the quake struck a week ago.

Flags were at half-mast nationwide and at Chinese embassies and missions overseas for the next three days, while cultural and entertainment establishments were also ordered to curtail activities.

earlier related report
Hospital destroyed in quake zone back in business -- online
A destroyed hospital near the epicentre of a massive earthquake in southwest China was back in business Sunday -- online.

A high-tech imaging system went live to link what was the largest hospital in Mianzhu city with the biggest hospital in the Sichuan provincial capital Chengdu, doctors said.

The link enables doctors at the the Mianzhu medical centre -- now based in a tent -- to seek advice from their colleagues in Chengdu, said Liu Rongbo, one of the doctors operating the system.

"We just began today," Liu told AFP in front of two black-and-white monitors that flashed up computer-aided X-ray images of a chest, a broken leg, and a skull from patients in Mianzhu.

"The hospital in Mianzhu collapsed and all the instruments were inside."

Liu said it is the first time the technology has been called into action during a disaster.

The system took almost two days to set up but the doctors' ability to give input to their colleagues in Mianzhu will save lives, he said.

"They depend on our diagnosis."

Rescuers earlier cited by state media said the death toll in Mianzhu had risen to 3,000. The government has estimated more than 50,000 people died from last Monday's 7.9-magnitude earthquake, China's worst natural disaster in a generation.

Doctors said they can write a report on a console below the image screens and then send it through a special intranet line installed to Mianzhu.

The Picture Archiving and Communication System employs technology from Germany's Siemens company as well as from China, Liu said.

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US military planes deliver aid to quake-hit China
Chengdu, China (AFP) May 18, 2008
Two US military planes carrying aid flew Sunday into southwestern China, the first time Beijing has accepted help from foreign troops since the earthquake struck, officials said.

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