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Chinese Premier visits epicenter after deadly quake

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (C), also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, inquires about victim rescue situation in the local hospital of the quake-hit Lushan County, southwest China's Sichuan Province, April 20, 2013. Li Keqiang arrived in Sichuan Saturday afternoon to deploy quake relief work. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

YA'AN, SICHUAN, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturdayafternoon visited the area torn by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in China's SichuanProvince, calling for wasting no time to save lives.

In the epicenter, Lushan County of Ya'an City, Li visited temporary settlements,hospitals, tents and climbing on a heap of ruin to see the disaster situation, expressedcondolences to the victims and the survivors, and guided the rescue and relief work onsite.

The earthquake hit Lushan County at 8:02 a.m. Beijing time Saturday. Authorities saidat least 160 people have been killed and more than 6,700 injured as of 0:40 a.m.Sunday Beijing Time.

As the electricity supply had not yet been resumed, Li had to hold a meeting lateSaturday night with flashlights in a tent in the epicenter Lushan County after seeingthe disaster situation on the afternoon.

After listening to the reports from officials of Sichuan Province, the armed forces,armed police force and relevant government departments, Li endorsed the currentrescue and disaster relief work, saying that the priority work of Sichuan province undercurrent situation is the rescue and disaster relief, with saving lives as the chiefmission.

Li urged local officials to check every house and make the utmost effort to save livesso long as there is one gleam of hope, deploy capable medical personnel to treat andcure the injured, and transfer seriously injured people outside in time so as to lowerthe mortality rate and disability rate.

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