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Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 10:51 UK

China quake deaths exceed 51,000

A woman, left, cries as she consoles her relative who survived the earthquake from the devastated Wenchuan county after they air lifted at the Phoenix airbase in Chengdu
The people of Sichuan remain in shock after the disaster

The death toll from the earthquake in China's Sichuan province has increased to more than 51,000, with another 30,000 people missing.

Officials revised the figure as they made a renewed international appeal for 3.3m tents for survivors of the quake.

Three days of national mourning for victims of the 12 May disaster has now come to an end.

The Olympic torch relay has resumed, but organisers said the Sichuan leg would be delayed because of the quake.

New town planned

A Chinese government spokesman said on Thursday that the death toll in last week's quake had now reached 51,151, with 29,328 missing and nearly 300,000 injured.

The official death toll on Wednesday was around the 41,000 mark.

Torch relay resumes at Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, on 22 May 2008
The torch relay resumed in Ningbo on Thursday
Chinese officials say one of the towns worst affected by the earthquake - Beichuan - will be rebuilt on a completely new site.

State media say the location has not yet been decided but is likely to be about 20km (12 miles) from the current town, where 70% of buildings were destroyed.

The 7.9 magnitude quake left some 5m people homeless, with many still sheltering in the open under makeshift tarpaulins more than 10 days after the disaster.

China's leaders have promised a 70bn yuan ($10 bn; 5bn) reconstruction fund.

Officials have warned that any corrupt practices linked to relief supplies for the quake will be severely punished.

Both domestic and international aid has been flowing into the earthquake zone, with supply planes landing from countries including the US, Russia and Singapore.

Relay resumes

The relay got under way on Thursday with a minute's silence in the eastern seaport city of Ningbo, Zhejiang province.

QUAKE STATISTICS
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Flame bearer Zhu Shijie, a crane operator, said: "We all must fight the earthquake together."

The torch will be taken through the streets of Shanghai on Friday, before travelling through the rest of China and arriving in Beijing for the start of the Games on 8 August.

The relay has been greeted by enthusiastic crowds throughout China, after a troubled international leg that attracted protests over China's human rights record.



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