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Vice Premier Urges Efforts to Restore Power Supply
    2008-05-25 14:09:45     Xinhua

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday called for stepped-up efforts to fully restore electric supply in quake-devastated areas during his inspection at the national electrical controlling center.

He said excellent work should be done in timely providing the quake-ravaged Sichuan Province with adequate electricity and coal supply to meet the needs of relief work as well as people's production and living demands.

The death toll in China's deadly earthquake increased to 60,560 as of Saturday noon, according to the Information Office of the State Council, while 352,290 people were injured and 26,221 missing in the 8.0-magnitude quake that jolted southwestern Sichuan on May 12.

"To guarantee the supply of electricity is one of the crucial preconditions for the success of quake relief and the smooth and stable economic development this year," said Li.

Electricity had been partially restored in 16 counties in Sichuan by Saturday noon, but two hardest-hit counties, Beichuan and Lixian, were still blacked out.

"On the one hand, we must continue our rescue and relief efforts; on the other, we must promote the growth of society and economy," added Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

He pointed out that efforts should be made to get ready for the coming electricity consumption summer peak season.

Li, said during a meeting on Friday that currently one of the most important missions is to secure temporary shelters for the homeless from the quake and provide them with urgently-needed tents and movable plank houses.

Official figures show that more than 5.47 million people have been made homeless and the government has allocated 15.1 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) for quake relief operations.

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