BEIJING - Huge supplies of bamboo and other favourites have arrived at China's top panda breeding centre after the deadly quake in the nation's southwest left the reserve without food, state press said Wednesday.

Tons of bamboo, apples, soybeans, eggs, milk powder and other foods have been shipped to the China Giant Panda Protection Research Centre, Xinhua news agency said. Large quantities of medicine were also included in the shipments, it said.

The centre is in Wolong, a small town about 30 kilometres from the epicentre of the magnitude-8.0 earthquake that has left more than 74,000 dead or missing and over five million homeless.

"There was only water (for the pandas) for a few days after the earthquake," the report quoted Xiong Beirong, a wildlife protection official with the Sichuan forestry department, as saying.

The supply of bamboo was suspended as local residents, coping with the loss of relatives and homes, halted their usual gathering of the favorite food of the endangered species, the official said.

Five staff workers at the Wolong centre were killed in the quake that left two pandas injured, six missing and panda houses damaged.

The reserve, home to dozens of pandas, is one of the largest breeding centres in the world.

As of Tuesday morning, four of the six missing pandas had returned to Wolong, while staff members are continuing the search for the other two, the report said.

The panda has become central to China's tourism industry, with around 100,000 people a year visiting the Wolong park alone.

The panda is one of the world's most endangered species, with an estimated 1,600 in nature parks in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces, and 239 in captivity, Chinese media have said.