The death toll from the strongest earthquake in China in years has risen to 149 people, and two people are still missing after the earthquake struck the northwestern parts of the country last week.
The 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck a remote mountainous area between Gansu and Qinghai provinces on December 18, reducing homes to rubble and causing severe mudslides that submerged two villages in Qinghai province.
China Central Broadcasting Corporation (CCTV) said on Monday that the death toll in the city of Donghai in Qinghai had risen by one person to 32, and rescuers were still searching for two missing people. In neighboring Gansu, authorities reported 117 people killed.
Nearly 1,000 people were injured and more than 14,000 homes were destroyed in China's deadliest earthquake in nine years.
Primary schools in Gansu's Jixishan County resumed classes in tents on Monday, state media reported. Local authorities said they would use the upcoming winter break to repair damaged schools and erect temporary structures so that classes could resume as usual in the spring.
Authorities also rushed to set up temporary housing units for survivors facing temperatures well below freezing. CGTN, the international arm of state broadcaster, said the first batch of 500 temporary housing units were built for residents in Mibu Village in Gansu, on Friday evening.
More than 87,000 people were resettled after the earthquake.
The earthquake caused economic losses estimated at tens of millions of dollars in the agricultural and fisheries sectors, according to official media.
The Chinese News Agency (Xinhua) reported that Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang visited several villages in Gansu and a province in Qinghai on Saturday and urged the authorities to improve the living conditions of the survivors.
Lee said the top priority of relief efforts is to make sure people stay warm and safe in the winter.
Funerals were held throughout the week, some following Islamic traditions for many residents in the affected area.
Most of China's earthquakes hit the western part of the country, including the provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan, in addition to the Xinjiang region and Tibet.
The country's deadliest earthquake in recent years was a 7.9-magnitude quake in 2008 that left nearly 90,000 people dead or presumed dead and destroyed towns and schools in Sichuan province, sparking a years-long effort to rebuild with more resistant materials.
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