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Woman Rescued After Eight Days; China Quake Death Toll Tops 40,000

  • VOA News

A Chinese woman has been rescued from the rubble in quake-struck Sichuan province, eight days after the country's massive earthquake hit, toppling buildings and leaving five million homeless.

The official Xinhua news agency says the woman spent 195 hours under the rubble, but did not provide any other details. She is the second person to be rescued today, as hopes dim for those still trapped.

Chinese officials say the death toll has risen to more than 40-thousand, and warned that the final death total could be more than 50-thousand.

As China continues to work to rescue those buried, its focus is increasingly shifting toward caring for survivors of the seven-point-nine magnitude quake. Chinese officials are struggling to rush some three million tents to Sichuan to provide shelter for the five million homeless.

Sichuan officials say they have already received some 280-thousand tents and factories are working around the clock to deliver another 700-thousand.

Authorities are also attempting to identify bodies and cope with orphans, elderly and disabled people who have lost caregivers. China's finance ministry says it has allocated 357 million dollars in temporary allowances to support quake victims.

The National Seismology Bureau has warned of a heightened possibility of an aftershock with a magnitude of between six and seven. Such an aftershock could cause major damage in the already-devastated province of Sichuan.

Today, China marked its second of three days of national mourning for victims of the quake.

U.S. President George Bush and his wife Laura visited the Chinese embassy in Washington (today/Tuesday) to extend their sympathies.

Mr. Bush wrote in a book of condolences that Americans stand with China during this difficult moment, adding that the United States is ready to assist in any manner that China deems helpful.

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