Ten trapped by quake evac­u­ated

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - AN YUAN / CHINA NEWS SER­VICE

A man is evac­u­ated by he­li­copter from the moun­tains on Thurs­day af­ter Tues­day’s mag­ni­tude 7.0 quake in Sichuan prov­ince. Four peo­ple re­mained miss­ing.

Res­cuers were still search­ing on Thurs­day for more peo­ple that might be trapped in the mountainous area of the earth­quake-hit Ji­uzhaigou in Sichuan prov­ince, while the death toll climbed by one to 20, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

Ten peo­ple who had been trapped on the high moun­tains in Ji­uzhaigou were evac­u­ated by he­li­copters on Thurs­day af­ter­noon, and four other peo­ple re­mained miss­ing there, said Qumu Shiha, deputy di­rec­tor of the disas­ter re­lief head­quar­ters.

Armed Police and some pro­fes­sional res­cuers were still at­tempt­ing to find the miss­ing peo­ple, he said.

“We won’t give up as long as there’s a flash of hope,” Qumu said.

How­ever, the Na­tional Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Cen­ter pre­dicted light to medium rain­fall at the quake zone on Thurs­day night and Fri­day.

Zhang Fanghua, the cen­ter’s chief fore­caster, said the rain might ham­per traf­fic and slow re­lief ef­forts. Given the quake has caused some po­ten­tial ge­o­log­i­cal haz­ards, res­cuers should also watch for se­condary dis­as­ters.

Ji­uzhaigou is a pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion in the moun­tains on the eastern edge of the Qing­hai-Ti­bet Plateau in south­west China’s Sichuan prov­ince. A mag­ni­tude 7.0 earth­quake struck this oth­er­worldly land­scape on Tues­day night, in­jur­ing at least 431, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment sta­tis­tics is­sued on Thurs­day. All the known wounded had been treated.

Known for its 108 trans­par­ent Alpine lakes, Ji­uzhaigou is a big draw for tourists. About 70,000 tourists and mi­grant work­ers in Ji­uzhaigou had been evac­u­ated, the Sichuan gov­ern­ment said.

Some 6,300 vil­lagers in Zhangzha, the epi­cen­ter of the earth­quake, had been re­set­tled in 17 town­ships, and their daily ne­ces­si­ties such as food and wa­ter were en­sured.

Ac­cord­ing to the Sichuan Pro­vin­cial De­part­ment of Com­merce, shops in the Ji­uzhaigou county seat and the town­ships in the county are open, en­sur­ing the sup­ply of daily ne­ces­si­ties.

The price of grain, meat and eggs is al­most the same as be­fore the quake, the de­part­ment said.

On Thurs­day, work­ers were clear­ing rocks fallen from moun­tains along Na­tional High­way 544, which con­nects Huan­g­long Air­port with Ji­uzhaigou. Two-way trans­porta­tion is ex­pected to re­sume in two days.

Fixed-line and mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tion was re­stored in all parts of Ji­uzhaigou county on Thurs­day, said Tian Run, an in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer with the Sichuan gov­ern­ment in­for­ma­tion of­fice.

THOMAS PETER / REUTERS

Vol­un­teers hand out fruit on Thurs­day to lo­cals housed in a tent camp af­ter their homes were dam­aged by the earth­quake in Ji­uzhaigou, Sichuan prov­ince, on Tues­day.

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