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6 killed, 1,000 hurt in China aftershock

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: USGS says aftershock measured 6.0, not 5.8 as originally reported
  • China's water ministry says 69 dams near collapse after quake
  • Paraplegic rescued 11 days after May 12 earthquake, state-run TV reports
  • Death toll surpasses 60,000, officials say
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CHENGDU, China (CNN) -- A powerful 6.0-magnitude aftershock hit China's Sichuan province Sunday, reportedly destroyed more than 70,000 homes in the region where at least 60,000 people were killed by a powerful earthquake on May 12.

State media said at least six people died and more than 1,000 were hurt as a result of the latest seismic jolt, which came as Chinese officials warned that 69 dams in the province damaged in the original quake were in danger of bursting their banks.

Shaanxi experienced the highest death toll as a result of the aftershock, with four people losing their lives. One each died in Sichuan and Gansu.

The aftershock damaged more than 200,000 other homes, according to state media. It also damaged another dam, cutting off several more roads in the region.

Mudslides and rockslides caused by the quake and aftershocks created a lake to form in southwest Sichuan. Authorities are worried that the barriers could burst and cause massive flooding, the Xinhua news agency said.

The nearly 2,000 police officers and soldiers sent to the lake planned to use dynamite to break down part of the barriers in an effort to control the flow of water, which was rising.

Sichuan has experienced dozens of aftershocks since a devastating 7.9-magnitude earthquake on May 12.

But Sunday's aftershock was the strongest since a 5.8-magnitude shook the region a day after the initial quake.

The aftershock was felt in Chengdu, one of the largest cities in Sichuan province and about 150 miles from the epicenter of the aftershock. A CNN employee, on the 24th floor of a high-rise hotel, reported that the building swayed.

Meanwhile, China's top economic planning agency urged oil and power companies to make sure there are enough supplies for earthquake-hit areas and for the Beijing Olympic Games in August, The Associated Press reported.

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The National Development and Reform Commission said coal production should resume as quickly as possible in Sichuan province, which accounts for 4 percent of the country's coal production, AP reported.

The agency also said the country's top two oil producers -- China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, and PetroChina -- should ensure fuel production, especially diesel for the summer, according to AP.

On Saturday, when China's Premier Wen Jiabao gave United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a dramatic look at the damage, a strong aftershock shook the town they were in. Video Watch Ban Ki-moon's tour of damage »

Meanwhile, the death toll from this month's earthquake in China reached 62,664, a government official said Sunday. Another 23,775 are still missing. Video Watch one mother's daily quest for her missing son »

At the Sunday news conference, a civil affairs ministry official said rescue workers have pulled alive 6,537 people from the rubble of the May 12 earthquake.

The earthquake has left more than 5,000 children without their parents and more than 4,000 elderly without caregivers, China's state-run news agency said Sunday.

A Water Ministry official said at the same conference that 69 dams are in danger of bursting in Sichuan province. Video Watch a report on dangerous quake-made lakes and dams »

Since the quake struck, workers have made several dramatic rescues. But the numbers have dwindled in recent days as time has passed. And continued rain in the coming days threatened to make relief efforts more difficult.

On Friday, rescue workers pulled an 80-year-old paraplegic man from the rubble of his home on Friday, 11 days after the quake, state media reported Sunday.

The man, Xiao Zhihu, had been trapped for nearly 266 hours.

The beam of Xiao's house in Mianzhu City in Sichuan province collapsed during the quake, trapping him, China's state-run television CCTV said.


The station said Xiao's wife could not go and call for help. She brought him food until he was found and freed by rescue crews Friday.

The government estimates that 45 million people, mostly in Sichuan province, were affected by the earthquake and that 5 million were left homeless.

CNN's Yuli Yang and Samson Desta contributed to this report.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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