SICHUAN RIBAO, CHINADAILY, XINHUA, GLOBAL TIMES (China)
LU SHAN – The death toll from this weekend's earthquake in central China climbed to 188 on Monday, with thousands injured and forced from their homes, reports Xinhua.
The quake's epicenter was registered in Lushan County in the southwest of Sichuan Province at around 8 a.m. local time Saturday.
According to the latest reports from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, at least 188 people died and some 12,000 are injured as of Monday 2 p.m. local time.
According to Xin Hua news agency, a total of 2,283 aftershocks have been recorded in Lushan by Monday afternoon, with the strongest registering a magnitude of 5.4.
Sichuan Daily reports that Prime Minister Li Keqiang visited Huaxi hospital in Chengdu where emergency experts have been called to help during this time of crisis. Li Keqiang supported the earlier Chinese president’s Xi Jinping statement saying that saving lives is the primary task, for the military and for the hospitals. “ The golden time for saving lives are the first 24 hours” said Li Keqiang.
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Xi Jinping arrived Sunday at the scene of the earthquake, as Xin Hua reports that more than 17,000 Chinese soldiers have joined the rescue mission organized by the Sichuan provincial party committee.
The disaster has evoked comparisons to the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, which occured just 200 kilometers from Lushan, and was one of the worst to strike China in decades, leaving 87,000 dead or missing.