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)
It took officers from Sichuan Public Security Fire Brigade more than two hours to hike to Lingguan town from their base in Lushan, a distance of less than 10 km, on Saturday night.
Rescuers were forced to crawl over the section of the road affected by the landslides. Loose rocks rolled down the cliffs and across the roads so frequently that people had to run to get past. Some attempted to shield their heads with rolled-up clothing and bags. Some of the rocks blocking the roads are as big as dining tables or cars and will need to be blasted clear.
Most of the rescue workers in Baoxing are firefighters and soldiers. By noon on Sunday, their number had reached 870, but more were expected later in the day. A second team was attempting to access the county via local waterways, said Xinhua News Agency.
Electricity, water and gas supplies have been cut off and almost all the houses are damaged, including those rebuilt after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, according to Xinhua.
"We distributed some food to the victims, but there's no more water and we only have enough food for two more days. The fear of aftershocks means people dare not return to their homes to collect the things they need. Many slept in the open on Saturday night," said Ma.
"By 1 pm on Sunday, more than 1,000 injured people had received treatment at Lingguan town hospital. The landslides mean we can't use motorized transport and have to carry the badly wounded on stretchers so they can get treatment further afield," said Li Ming, director of Baoxing Health Bureau.