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Li oversees rescue operation at Yunnan quake zone

Updated: 2014-08-22 10:18

Premier Li Keqiang has arrived in Zhaotong, in southwest China's Yunnan province, after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake rattled the city on Aug 3, leaving at least 381 dead and 1,801 others injured.

Li spoke to reporters on the flight to the quake-hit area, saying rescue services would carry out a "door-to-door" search over the next 48 hours, considered to be a "golden period" to save people after such a disaster.

"We have to grab every opportunity to rescue people, so as to limit casualties. We must put people's lives first," Li said. "Those who wear military uniforms (soldiers) must get into the stricken area together with those who wear white gowns (doctors)."

Li said during his plane trip that the authorities would make sure people affected by the quake would receive adequate supplies of food, clean water and clothes - and they would also make sure they had safe accommodation.

Li asked rescuers to follow his suggestions - coordinating with different teams and organizations - to prevent secondary disasters and ensure residents receive basic necessities.

He also called for transparency regarding details about the aftermath and rescue efforts, "to build public trust, which is important for quake relief efforts."

During the flight, Li received many updates about the situation - and made decisions accordingly on relief efforts.

He asked all those on the plane who were involved in the rescue efforts to use the satellite phones to communicate with people on the ground and follow his guidance.

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