Death toll in China quake passes 55,000

The death toll in the huge quake in China’s Sichuan province went above 55,000 Friday with 25,000 others still missing, while a provincial leader said the region plans to rebuild the quake zone within three years.

BEICHUAN, China — The death toll in the huge quake in China’s Sichuan province went above 55,000 Friday with 25,000 others still missing, while a provincial leader said the region plans to rebuild the quake zone within three years.

Sichuan’s Vice Governor Li Chengyun told a news conference that the priority for now remains saving anyone surviving in the rubble 11 days after the quake — though no one has been found alive since Wednesday — along with preventing disease in the affected areas.

“We will not give up on trying to save people,” Li said.

Li also repeated government requests for tents following China’s worst quake in 30 years. “We still need them for the five million people who need to be housed,” he told a news conference in Beijing.

Li said the number of confirmed deaths in Sichuan alone was 55,239 — up about 4,000 from the previous day — with 24,949 people missing. He said 50,766 bodies had already been buried or cremated. Hundreds of people have also been confirmed dead in several provinces around Sichuan.

Despite Li’s comments about continuing the search for survivors, it appeared those efforts were giving way to the first steps toward reconstruction.

Li said the province has a three-year goal to rebuild towns and infrastructure after the May 12 quake.

Housing the newly homeless has also been extremely difficult, with China making repeated international appeals for tents.

To reinforce the point, President Hu Jintao visited two tent manufacturing companies, where he was shown on state television urging workers to boost production to help their countrymen.

Just Posted

Update: Red Deer’s Ryan Vandervlis remains in critical condition in hospital after firepit explosion

WHL and families issue a statement on Friday night incident that injured three Lethbridge Hurricanes

“Nothing can take away the horror and the anguish,” says Amanda Lindhout’s mother

Lorinda Stewart reacts to 15-year jail sentence for daughter’s kidnapper

Amanda Lindhout kidnapper sentenced to 15 years in prison

OTTAWA — A Somalian man found guilty in the kidnapping of Amanda… Continue reading

Police suspect fire at mosque in Alberta town was deliberately set

EDSON, Alta. — RCMP in Alberta say they’re investigating an arson at… Continue reading

Indigenous protesters in Washington declare Trans Mountain won’t be built

VANCOUVER — Cedar George-Parker remembers the moment he decided to devote his… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Alberta High School Soccer League champs crowned

Lindsay Thurber girls’ team and Notre Dame boys’ team won Saturday at Edgar Park Field in Red Deer

Private jet once owned by Elvis Presley for sale – again

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley that… Continue reading

Roll out the barrels: Christo artwork floats on London lake

LONDON — The ducks, geese and hardy cold-water swimmers in London’s Hyde… Continue reading

Just For Laughs production company promotes COO Bruce Hills to president

MONTREAL — The production company behind Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival… Continue reading

Auto parts firm Magna plans electric vehicle joint ventures with Chinese company

AURORA, Ont. — Magna International Inc. says it will form two new… Continue reading

Collection featuring Group of Seven paintings donated to University of Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Margaret (Marmie) Perkins Hess spent a lifetime following her… Continue reading

5 dead as SUV chased by Border Patrol crashes in South Texas

BIG WELLS, Texas — At least five people were killed and several… Continue reading

Ramifications of a trade war: an expert look at the numbers for Canada

OTTAWA — A new analysis of escalating trade disputes involving the United… Continue reading

Deliberate spill: study launched to test crude and bitumen impact on lake life

KENORA, Ont. — Researchers were in northwestern Ontario over the weekend spilling… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month