Victims run for safety
Updated: 2012-09-09 07:43
By Xu Wei and Guo Anfei in Yiliang, Yunnan and Wang Xiaodong in Beijing (China Daily)
Continuous aftershocks on Saturday have forced residents in quake-stricken Luozehe township in Yiliang to evacuate to safer zones.
The township, located between two steep high-rising mountain chains, was one of the hardest-hit when two earthquakes, with the magnitude of 5.7 and 5.6, struck Yiliang county in Yunnan province on Friday.
"Rocks from nearby hills keep falling into the village, we had to move out," said Liu Dingchun, an officer from the police station at Luozehe township.
With him was his 41-year-old wife Li Guoyan who carried their 4-month-old baby on her back as they ran for their lives. The couple's only possessions are two bags.
Along the roads leading to Luozehe, many villagers who escaped from Friday's quakes, were seen putting up in tents, as they were too afraid of going back to their homes. A falling rock on the road blocked part of the escape way.
However, Liu said he will return to the village soon to join the rescue work after relocating his wife and baby at a relative's place in Zhaotong city.
Villagers of Luozehe township take a rest in a shelter on Saturday. Luozehe was badly hit by Friday's earthquakes and aftershocks, causing 16 casualties and more than 100 injured. [Photo by Zhang Yongqiang / for China Daily]
According to national television station CCTV, more than 180 aftershocks have occurred, hampering rescue efforts.
"Another aftershock occurred at about 3 in the afternoon," said lieutenant Fan Zhaoyong with Yunnan branch of the People's Liberation Army, who took part in the rescue efforts. "I could see dust rising on the hill opposite the relief office and rocks falling down."
It was a nightmare for the local residents when the quakes hit. Ming Caizhen, a villager in Jiaokui township, Yiliang county, said she was collecting corn in the field at the foot of the hill when the quakes happened.
"The ground shook so violently I could barely stand. Dozens of villagers were picking corns, and many of them got injured by rocks that rolled down from the hills," said Ming, who was receiving treatment in a tent in the People's Hospital of Yiliang county.
More than 50 tents crowded the square adjacent to the hospital as all rooms have been occupied by the injured seeking treatment, a hospital staff member said.
But in the urban area of Yiliang county, the situation remains calm. Shops continue to operate, while most residents stayed home. But traffic is busier than usual with various kinds of vehicles, including military cars, ambulances and trucks plying the streets to transport relief materials to the quake victims.
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Yang Jun in Guiyang and Yan Hao in Yiliang, Yunnan contributed to this story.