China Says Death Toll At 80,000

BEICHUAN, China -- China said the toll of dead and missing from last week's earthquake jumped to more than 80,000, while the government appealed Thursday for millions of tents to shelter homeless survivors.

The confirmed number of dead rose to 51,151, up almost 10,000 from the day before, Cabinet spokesman Guo Weimin told a news conference. Another 29,328 people remained missing and nearly 300,000 were hurt in the May 12 quake centered in Sichuan province, he said.

No rescues of buried survivors had been reported Thursday or in the last 24 hours.

The disaster also left some 5 million people homeless, leveling buildings and schools in remote towns and villages near the epicenter. In bigger cities, whole apartment blocks collapsed or are now too dangerous to live in because of damage and worries about aftershocks.

"We need more than 3.3 million tents," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said, renewing an international appeal from the Chinese government. He said 400,000 tents have already been delivered to quake victims.

"We hope and welcome international assistance in this regard. We hope the international community can give priority in providing tents," he told reporters.

President Hu Jintao visited two tent manufacturing companies in eastern Zhejiang province, urging workers to boost production to meet needs from the disaster area, state media reported.