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Death toll reaches 398 in China earthquake

The death toll from a 6.5 magnitude earthquake in China's Yunnan province has risen to 398, according to the country's national news agency. Xinhua reported that at least 398 people had been killed, while thousands had been injured as of Tuesday morning after the tremor rattled the province Sunday afternoon. Around 230,000 people are also reported to have been evacuated from the region following the quake, which left 12,000 homes destroyed and 30,000 others damaged. Premier Li Keqiang travelled to the region Monday, and immediately instructed the use of all possible means to retrieve those left under the rubble. Hundreds of search and rescue teams, including fire crew, policemen and soldiers, are currently working in the area. The quake struck at 4:30 p.m. Sunday (Beijing Time) at a depth of 12 km, with its epicenter in Longtoushan Township, 23 km southwest of the county seat of Ludian county in Zhaotong City. The finance ministry said the government has allocated 600 million yuan ($97 million) for rescue and relief work and the government has sent 33,000 tents, 60,000 coats, 10,000 folding beds and 50 portable toilets to the region.  The death toll is almost five times that of a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that occurred in Zhaotong in 2012, killing 80 people and injuring more than 800.

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