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1st LD Writethru: UN ready to offer help after quake in SW China

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 8 — The UN humanitarian office is monitoring developments after multiple earthquakes struck a mountainous region in southwest China, and stands ready to assist the Chinese government, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here Friday.

Nesirky made the statement at a daily news briefing here, referring to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Sixty-seven people have been confirmed dead and 731 others injured after multiple earthquakes struck a mountainous region in southwest China on Friday, local authorities said.

Rescuers in Yunnan Province in southwest China said on Friday night they had reached 90 percent of the six quake-hit counties under Zhaotong, where a total of 740,000 people had been affected by the quakes.

The disaster has so far incurred 3.5 billion yuan (551 million U.S. dollars) in direct economic losses, Yunnan's civil affairs department said.

Two quakes measuring 5.7 and 5.6 on the Richter scale hit respectively a border area near Yiliang in Yunnan and Weining county in Guizhou Province at 11:19 a.m. and 12:16 p.m.(local time) on Friday. (PNA/Xinhua)

CTB/JSD

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