China Starts Lushan Quake Damage Assessment
   2013-04-26 17:10:44    Xinhua      Web Editor: Wang Wei

Damage assessment has begun in the quake-hit region of southwest China's Sichuan Province to provide a scientific basis for post-quake relief and reconstruction work.

A joint work group of experts from the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA), the China National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Education was sent to quake-hit Ya'an City on Thursday, according to a statement released Friday by the MCA.

The group is tasked with determining the scale of the damage by conducting on-site inspections and holding symposiums. It will primarily focus on the damage to houses and infrastructure, as well as losses in the industrial and public service sectors, according to the statement.

The group has been urged to verify figures provided by local authorities and those collected by remote sensing satellites and numerical models, so as to ensure the accuracy of the assessment, it said.

As of Wednesday, the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Lushan County, Ya'an City, on Saturday morning has left 196 dead, 21 missing and 13,484 injured.

On Friday, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a statement that 1,516 wounded people, including 43 terminally-ill patients and 69 severe cases, are being treated in hospital in Sichuan.

Meanwhile, a total of 4,924 people have been discharged from local hospitals as of 12 a.m. Friday, said the statement, adding that 12,474 health workers, including 2,880 personnel for epidemic prevention, are working in the quake zone.

No major epidemic or emergency health incidents have been found so far in the quake zone, according to the commission.

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