Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for all-out efforts to organize relief work and rescue the injured. The toll rose to 19 dead and 342 wounded, according to the latest reports.
Rescue efforts, both at the government and the grassroots levels, are in full swing, demonstrating efficiency, strong resolution and human warmth, Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.
Jiuzhaigou is a popular tourist destination in the mountains on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau where the tremor was strongly felt.
The State Council has sent a national work team to the disaster-hit area to guide relief work, while the provincial authorities of Sichuan dispatched over 1,300 armed policemen, 1,108 firefighters, 55 sets of heat sensors and 30 sniffer dogs to Jiuzhaigou.
A total of 455 firefighters from Shaanxi Province have been organized on standby, and 28 rescue workers from Gansu Province have carried out rescue work, Xinhua added.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has instructed airports to keep track of available runways and gate positions while asking airlines to help with emergency evacuation of tourists in the disaster-hit area. (PL)