People in quake epicenter relocated, villagers recount suffering

 

A relocation site established by the Shanghai Red Cross Society in Min county of Gansu province. Photos: Hong Mingyu & Xue Jing/Sino-US.com

Authorities have relocated the people living in the most devastated areas in the earthquake epicenter Minxian county of Gansu province and food and water has been handed out to the affected individuals.

 Two sino-us.com reporters arrived at the Minxian county on the night of July 24, when the rescue work was hindered by a shower which posed the threat of a landslide.

Yongguang village and Yongxing village in the county have suffered the biggest devastation by the earthquake, where houses have been reduced to rubble and the victims accounting for half of the total affected people.

The villagers told the sino-us.com that a couple of households share a tent. Each individual is allocated a bottle of water and two bowls of instant noodle every day. Instant noodle is the only food allowed now due to fears of epidemic.

Thousands of soldiers and firefighters from Lanzhou, capital city of Gansu, had finished searching for survivors as the first 72-hour search and rescue period drew close. They have started to dismantle the broken walls.

Qiu Wenxia, a migrant worker who happened to be in Lanzhou when the quake occurred, said that a child of one of her relatives was wounded by a falling rock and is hospitalized.

“The loss is immeasurable. Our main revenue is from planting and selling traditional Chinese medicine. But once the landslide destroys our farms and houses, there is no way to retrace the medicine,” said Qiu.

Villagers spend all they earn in a lifetime to build a house. But that was destroyed in a flash. “We are heartbroken and we won’t move back,” she said.

The two villages perch at an elevation of 2,000 meters without any roads for vehicles. The disaster forced rescuers and volunteers to pave a 10-km winding road in two days.

The quake-hit region is still in desperate need of necessities as neighboring villagers that suffered less damage said they were left unattended as the relief goods were all delivered to the most affected areas. 

 

Some villagers still live in their quake-stricken houses.

(The article is translated by Wu Jie)

 

 


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