left corner left corner
China Daily Website

County struggles to recover

Updated: 2013-04-22 02:39
By Tang Yue in Ya'an, Sichuan and Peng Yining and He Na in Beijing ( China Daily)

County struggles to recover

An injured resident is moved to a temporary shelter at Lingguan middle school in Baoxing county. Photos by Xue Yubin/Xinhua

Impassable roads

Baoxing, which covers an area of 3,114 square km, is home to 58,000 people. The county administers nine townships and 54 villages. Pandas were first recorded there in the 19th century, leading to it becoming known as the "home of the Pandas".

The local geography, high mountains and low valleys, made Baoxing an "isolated island", according to one observer, in the aftermath of Saturday's tremblor. The relative elevation of the mountains is around 4,578 meters, which has added to the difficulties encountered by the relief workers.

Three roads leading from Lushan county to Baoxing were rendered impassable by landslides, although one reopened briefly at around 6 pm on Saturday after frantic efforts, according to Sichuan's provincial transportation department. The road was later blocked by landslides once again.

Approximately 200 members of the Sichuan Armed Police Force walked more than 10 km to Lingguan town, one of the places hardest hit in the county, arriving at 7 pm on Saturday, according to reports on China Central Television.

"Most of the houses have been destroyed and the roads leading in and out of the town have been blocked by landslides, which have hampered efforts to transport the severely injured," said Wang Qianjun, director of the Armed Police Force training department.

"We quickly came up with a plan: We transported the injured by vehicle to the places where the landslides blocked the road. Soldiers then carried the injured over the blocked areas to vehicles that were waiting to ferry them to the hospitals," he said.

More than 40,000 people are waiting to be relocated. Lingguan town, another of the most severely affected areas, is badly in need of helicopters to transport doctors and medicine for the critically injured. Most of the injured have fractures or head wounds, caused by falling objects. Supplies of food and medicine are limited. A makeshift hospital, essentially just a framework covered by cloth, has been set up in a school playground.

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.