Premier tours quake-hit area
Updated: 2012-09-10 08:05
Premier Wen Jiabao sits by an injured child and talks to survivors of Friday's earthquake in Yiliang county, Yunnan province, on Saturday. Huang Jingwen / Xinhua
Premier Wen Jiabao spent a sleepless night visiting people in Yiliang county, Southwest China's Yunnan province, one of the worst-hit areas of Friday's earthquakes.
The premier encouraged people affected by the quake to overcome the natural disaster.
Leaving Beijing at 6:40 pm on Friday, Wen arrived at the airport in Yibin, Sichuan province, and took the train to reach Yiliang at 1:10 am early Saturday morning.
Wen headed to the epicenter of the quake, Maoping village, but the car was forced to stop because the road condition was so poor, with rocks falling from nearby hills. Wen stepped out of the car and walked the rest way to the village.
In Maoping, Wen met survivors and inquired about their living conditions since the quake.
At 2:30 am, Wen hurried to the Yiliang County People's Hospital to visit the injured.
A doctor in the hospital said that although it was early morning, the 70-year-old premier looked energetic.
Because the number of beds in the hospital were limited, many people were in tents set up in front of the hospital. Wen consoled a 4-year-old girl who broke her arm and lost her grandfather and her home in the quake.
Next to the little girl's bed lay a 4-year-old boy who suffered a head injury from a falling wall. Caressing his arm, Wen told the boy to be strong.
An hour later, Wen arrived at the Yiliang county square where many survivors have been relocated. He encouraged people to be confident about the government's ability to cope with natural disasters and promised to provide meals, clean water, houses and medical treatment.
In a hastily erected tent, Wen held a meeting with government officers to discuss the disaster and rescue efforts, stressing the need for all-out efforts to search for survivors within the first 72 hours, which are critical to post-quake rescue operations, and to treat the wounded and minimize casualties. It was 6 am when the meeting ended.
After a short rest on the train at Yiliang train station, Wen headed to the epicenter again at 10:45 am. The 20-kilometer journey took more than an hour's drive because of poor road conditions.
On the road, Wen frequently asked his driver to stop so he could inspect the damage. When he reached the epicenter, rocks from nearby hills had fallen and a young boy suffered a leg injury. Wen asked his doctor to help bind the boy's leg.
Wen then traveled to quake-hit Xiushui village where rescue teams were searching for possible survivors. Wen told the rescue teams as long as there is hope people may be alive, they should continue searching.
Before he left for Beijing on Saturday evening, Wen chaired an afternoon conference on the train, giving more instructions on the relief efforts.
Xinhua - China Daily