On a day when the torch relay began with a minute of silence in memory of Chinese earthquake victims, the International Olympic Committee pledged $1 million US in aid to help with relief efforts in ravaged Sichuan province.

Jacques Rogge, the IOC's president, said Tuesday his organization will funnel the money through the Beijing Organizing Committee, which will distribute it to appropriate relief organizations.

Rogge's pledge came the day after he sent a letter of condolence to China's president Hu Jintao.

Officials said Tuesday the death toll from the 7.9-magnitude quake that hit on Monday had reached 11,921, with 10,000 of those deaths in Sichuan. An estimated 18,000 people could be buried under debris in the city of Mianyang alone, the official news agency Xinhua said.

China is hosting this summer's Olympic Games, mostly in Beijing. No venues were damaged by the quake.

With files from the Associated Press