Saturday, April 20, 2013

Over 6,000 soldiers, aircraft deployed to quake-hit Sichuan

 Over 6,000 soldiers, aircraft deployed to quake-hit Sichuan

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Chinese authorities have deployed more than 6,000 military and armed police soldiers and several aircraft to the area hit by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province to help with rescue and relief efforts.

About 2,000 soldiers from Chengdu Military Area Command (MAC) of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) were rushing to the epicenter, while two helicopters were tasked with finding out more about the situation on the ground.

Another rescue team with about 220 soldiers from a PLA Air Force unit in Sichuan have also been dispatched to the quake-hit area.

About 800 soldiers with 120 professional rescue vehicles have arrived in the quake-hit area, and a unit of 50 soldiers with six excavating vehicles has arrived in Lushan county, epicenter of the quake.

According to local government, another unit of about 50 military reserve members has arrived at Longmen town, a mountainous region in Lushan county seriously jolted by the quake.

China's People's Armed Police Force (PAPF) has dispatched 3,900 officers and soldiers from its contingent stationed in Sichuan Province, and so far 2,600 of them have arrived at six towns in the quake-hit area to carry out rescue and relief work.

The Air Force Commander General Ma Xiaotian, who was overseeing the Air Force's units in the southwest, suspended his official trip and has set up an Air Force headquarter for quake relief in Sichuan's Qionglai county.

The Air Force Command also scrambled two reconnaissance aircraft from Beijing at 10:08 a.m. and 11:42 a.m. Saturday to take aerial photographs over the quake-hit area in Sichuan.

A transport aircraft was scrambled to Kunming of southwest Yunnan Province from where it will take a national rescue and relief team and transport it to the quake-hit area.

The Chengdu MAC has already set up a quake relief and rescue headquarters and the MAC's air force troops are ready to dispatch quake-relief teams to the epicenter.

The MAC has also set up medical aid, transport and engineering teams to assist in the quake-hit region.

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