Three people died and 38 were injured in a strong earthquake that measured 6.1 on the Richter scale, which struck Dayao County of southwest China's Yunnan Province Thursday night.
About 593,000 local residents in 14,000 households have been affected by the quake, which made some of their houses collapse and cut off communications and traffic circulation.
The provincial and local governments and army soldiers are sparing no effort in disaster relief.
President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have attached great importance to the disaster, calling on local governments to try every possible means to make the people in disaster-hit areas have access to necessary supplies.
Preliminary information shows that more than 2,000 households suffered damages in the five counties of the Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture.
The Ministry of Finance on Friday allocated 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) to help the people from the disaster-hit areas to get necessary supplies.
Local residents were busy rebuilding their houses, after a July earthquake caused significant damage in the area.
Local officials feared the number of casualties might continue to rise.
"It was difficult to calculate the casualties since the quake occurred at night,'' according to a Xinhua quote from Prefecture Magistrate Ye Libin.
All the deaths were reported in Tanhua township, which was struck by a strong quake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale earlier this July, killing 15 and injuring 294 people.
Liuju township, which neighbors Tanhua, is roughly 180 kilometers from the provincial capital of Kunming, which also felt the tremor.
The provincial government has allocated disaster relief materials for quake-hit areas, including 1,100 tents and 2,000 quilts.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs has allocated 5,000 tents to the area, and a special team sent by the ministry has arrived in the region to help the disaster relief efforts.
(China Daily October 18, 2003)