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China quake death toll passes 600

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that hit southern China four days ago has risen to 615, with 114 other people missing.

A total of 3,143 people were known to have been injured in Sunday's 6.1-magnitude quake in a mountainous farming region of Yunnan province, Xinhua News Agency said, citing local authorities.

Yesterday, the death toll jumped to 589 as search and rescue teams pushed into isolated mountain communities. While one woman was pulled out alive from the rubble 67 hours after the quake hit, bodies dominated rescuers' finds.

Some 10,000 troops and hundreds of volunteers were sent to the affected area to clear roads and dig out survivors, but landslides and bouts of heavy rain complicated their efforts.

The region is prone to earthquakes. In 1970, a magnitude-7.7 earthquake in Yunnan killed at least 15,000 people.

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