Falling rocks and blocked roads hamper rescuers as tremors persist
Rescuers are battling falling rocks and traffic jams to save lives and send aid to survivors, three days after tremors devastated an area of Southwest China's Yunnan province.
A 3.7-magnitude aftershock on Saturday evening killed one person, bringing the death toll to 81. Two earthquakes, with magnitudes of 5.7 and 5.6, hit Yiliang county, Zhaotong city, on Friday .
More than 800 people were injured and thousands of homes collapsed, according to the county authority.
The central government has allocated 1.05 billion yuan ($160 million) to disaster relief, while the Ministry of Civil Affairs has sent 10,000 emergency tents in addition to the 11,000 tents provided by Yunnan's Department of Civil Affairs.
"We have resettled 175,000 people affected by the earthquakes," said Cheng Lianyuan, vice-mayor of Zhaotong. "We are handing out tents, quilts, clothes, water and rice to them, to ensure they have food, shelter and medical treatment."
More than 7,000 rescuers, including doctors, soldiers and officials, are working around the clock to help survivors, but their work is being hampered by falling rocks and congested roads.
"For us, the job is not only about rescue work, but also to ensure the safety of our soldiers," said Li Xingshun, commander of an artillery battalion in the Chengdu Military Area.
His battalion sent 135 soldiers to the scene and they have received orders to make 1,900 tents for villagers. They are among 4,100 soldiers sent from military forces stationed in neighboring Sichuan province.
Li, one of the rescuers in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan, said his soldiers are now searching for survivors in remote mountain areas. He said the rescue is less difficult than in 2008 but more dangerous, as there is a greater danger of landslides.
【1】 【2】 【3】
News we recommend