Emergency workers in China's Yunnan and Guizhou provinces are clearing roads and climbing mountains to try to reach villages cut off by Friday's earthquakes, as Premier Wen Jiabao visited with some of the victims of the disaster.
Wen visited hospitals and emergency shelters Saturday, saying finding and rescuing those still missing must be a top priority. He also urged emergency workers to take precautions against disease epidemics in the emergency camps, and noted that they must also be on watch for "secondary and geological hazards" such as landslides.
Rain is expected in the region for the next several days, which will hamper rescue efforts and make landslides more likely.
Back-to-back 5.6-magnitude temblors on Friday killed at least 80 people, most in the impoverished Yunnan province. In Yunnan and Guizhou together, more than 700 people were injured and more than 100,000 people were evacuated. Thousands of buildings were destroyed or damaged.
Chinese state media warned the death toll from the earthquakes could rise because impassable roads and downed communications have made collecting information difficult.
State media said authorities have sent tens of thousands of tents, quilts, and coats to the earthquake victims.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
Two shallow 5.6 magnitude earthquakes hit southwestern China on Friday, killing at least 64 people and forcing tens of thousands of people from damaged buildings, Sept. 7, 2012.
Vehicles make their way slowly along the road after a rock-fall in Yiliang, southwest China's Yunnan province, Sept. 7, 2012.
Soldiers carry children as locals follow them towards safer area after two earthquakes hit Zhaotong, Yunnan province, Sept. 7, 2012.
Residents gather to cook a meal in Yiliang, southwest China's Yunnan province following two shallow quakes that struck the remote and mountainous border area of Yunnan and Guizhou province of southwest China, Sept. 7, 2012.
People gather at a square following an earthquake in Zhaotong town, Yiliang County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Sept. 7, 2012.