A deadly earthquake shook western China, disaster teams were on the move. The death toll in a powerful 6.5 magnitude earthquake that hit southwest China neared 600 on Wednesday as 4,200 people were evacuated after artificial lakes formed by the landslides posed a risk of flooding.

The death toll have surged to 589 following Sunday’s quake in Yunnan Province, including 504 reported in worst-hit Ludian County and 72 in Qiaojia County. Within hours, food, tents, and even a 4G cellphone network were in place, showing how a fast-developing China can bring its plentiful experience and enormous resources to bear in handling natural disasters.

Yet some slivers of hope remained, among them the dramatic rescue of a woman who was pulled out alive from the debris 67 hours after the quake. Rescue efforts in the southwestern province of Yunnan, where the 6.1-magnitude quake struck Sunday, were heavily hampered by traffic delays and landslides blocking roads. Villages of bright blue tents for survivors have sprung up in and around Longtoushan, accompanied by pavilions and trucks offering cellphone and Internet service. Others offer to help with insurance claims, banking and medical services.

“It’s not enough anymore to just provide somewhere for these people to sleep and something to eat. People need to maintain communication and all the other details of life to get back on their feet,” said Li Weiping, who was helping staff a tent offering 4G service for a national carrier along Longtoushan’s main street, clogged with rescue vehicles. A strong earthquake like this one is always linked to crustal movements and local geological structures, according to the CENC chief.

Commenting on China’s earthquake early warning system, Pan said the country has started the research but there is still much work to be done. The country has improved the speed of detecting a quake and sending out the data but much more effort is needed to optimize responses to early warnings, he noted.