New Delhi, May 23 : The death toll from earthquake in southwest China on Friday crossed 55,000 with nearly 25,000 people still missing.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has stated that the focus of relief work has been shifted from rescuing lives to rehabilitating the quake victims and local society.
"It will be a harder and long-term task," he said in Beichuan County, one of the worst-hit by the quake measuring 8 on Richter Scale.
Sichuan Vice Governor Li Chengyun stressed on rescuing survivors, 11 days after the quake rocked the province, where 55,239 have been confirmed dead and 24,949 people were still missing.
With a new threat from the swelling "quake lakes" looming around, Beijing is still to provide shelter to lakhs of survivors.
The authorities have set a three-year time limit to rebuild the towns hit by the quake in the worst hit Sinchuan province where the quake has left 281,066 people injured.
"Quake lakes" formed after the landslides and mudflows have blocked rivers, which continue to pose threat to several villages in the quake -battered areas.
On Thursday, the toll had reached 51000 with Chinese officials making an international appeal for 3.3 million tents for survivors of the quake.