1st LD-Writethru: China quake death toll hits 410

KUNMING, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities have updated the death toll from the earthquake that hit southwest China's Yunnan Province on Sunday to 410 with 12 people missing.

The newly reported deaths include nine in the worst-hit Ludian County and three in Qiaojia County, in addition to the 398 who had been confirmed dead by Monday. The missing people have all been reported in Qiaojia.

As the official count of quake casualties first focused on the worst-hit,densely inhabited towns or villages, new missing or dead people may be reported as the rescue work spreads to remote locations with fewer residents, an official with the Yunnan Civil Affairs Department explained.

As of 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the 6.5-magnitude quake has also left 2, 373 people injured and necessitated the emergency evacuation of 230,000, said the provincial government.

The quake, the strongest to hit the region in 14 years, struck at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday (Beijing Time) with its epicenter in Longtoushan Township, Ludian County in Zhaotong City, affecting 1.08 million people in the cities of Zhaotong and Qujing.

Nearly 80,000 rooms collapsed and 124,000 rooms were seriously damaged. More than 460,000 rooms suffered moderate damage.

Thousands of police, firefighters and soldiers have been mobilized for rescue efforts which are being made difficult by poor road conditions in the remote mountainous area.

The provincial government has allocated 23 million yuan ( 3.7 million U.S. dollars) for disaster relief and transported more than 100,000 tents, quilts, coats, clothes and double beds to the quake zone.