China Death Toll Breaks 51K

Beijing pledges $10B to reconstruction
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 22, 2008 7:59 AM CDT
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, blue tents set up for residents who lost their homes in the earthquake on May 12 are seen on Tuesday, May 20, 2008.   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Ren Junchuan)
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(Newser) – China’s official earthquake death toll has today topped 51,000, with almost 300,000 injured, and another 29,000 missing, CNN reports. Meanwhile, donations from home and abroad tallied $3 billion, while Beijing pledged another $10 billion to reconstruction efforts, including $3.6 billion for rescue and relief work.

“Since 1998, this is the first time the Chinese government has opened up an issue like this to the international community,” said a UN official. The government called for more than 3.3 million additional tents, saying it “welcomed” foreign aid, the AP reports. Relief efforts continued with three unlikely rescues, including a 102-year-old woman who was pulled from rubble.