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Man pulled from rubble after 11 days

An 80 year-old man was pulled from the rubble of his collapsed home Sunday after surviving for 11 days trapped under a pillar. The same day, the official death toll of China's quake was raised to just over 62,500 people.

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An elderly man was freed unhurt from the collapsed remains of his home 11 days after the massive quake in southwestern China, state media reported on Sunday.

Xiao Zhihu, 80, had been provided food and water by his wife since the quake hit Sichuan province, trapping him under a pillar, the official China News Service reported.

Xiao, who was already partially paralysed before the quake, was in stable condition when rescue workers finally freed him on Friday in the city of Mianzhu, it said.

Rescue teams have set up a tent for the Xiao family until their home can be rebuilt, the report added.

China said on Saturday that the number of confirmed earthquake deaths had reached 60,560, with another 26,221 people missing.

A number of miraculous rescues following the May 12 earthquake helped boost national spirits amid the disaster, but such reports had dried up in recent days as hope faded of pulling any more survivors from the rubble.

Official death toll rises

 

The national death toll from China's earthquake rose to 62,664, with another 23,775 missing, a government spokesman said on Sunday.

"As of 12 noon on May 25, the death toll from the great earthquake in Sichuan province was 62,664," cabinet spokesman Guo Weimin told a press conference in Beijing.

He added that another 23,775 remained missing and 358,816 people were injured in China's worst earthquake in more than 30 years, which struck the southwestern province of Sichuan on May 12.

Premier Wen Jiabao on Saturday had signalled fading hopes of finding anyone else alive, telling reporters during a trip to the destroyed town of Yingxiu that the death toll "may further climb to a level of 70,000, 80,000 or more."

The new official toll marked a jump of more than 2,000 deaths from a figure of 60,560 released by the government Saturday.

China has already said that more than 5.47 million people have been left homeless and more than 11 million people were expected to be housed in refugee camps after being evacuated from areas rendered unlivable by the quake.

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