Rescuers race against time for quake victims
Updated: 2013-04-22 17:15
Chinese rescue workers are in a race against time to save countless lives as aftershocks, landslides and rain hamper rescue efforts in the mountainous regions of Sichuan province. Families badly in need of food and water are living in makeshift shelters as county officials make an urgent appeal for medical supplies.
The quake has left 188 people dead and 25 missing as of 2 p.m. Monday, the Ministry of Civil Affairs announced. Altogether 11,950 were injured and more than 1.72 million people were affected.
Power supplies in Baoxing County were restored on Sunday night after those to Lushan County and nearby Tianquan County were basically restored in the morning, according to the emergency command center of the State Grid.
Roads linking Baoxing county to its suborinate towns and townships, previously blocked by landslides, have all been cleared by noon, said China Central Television.
But a traffic jam occurs at the only road entrance to quake zones in Taiping town, Longmen town, Baosheng town of Lushan county on Monday morning. Authorities urged vehicles that are not for relief purpose to make way for those used for rescue missions.
Disaster relief work is also well under way.
More relief supplies were airlifted to areas hit by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake, Xinhua learned from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Monday.
A total of 5,000 raincoats, 10,000 flashlights and 30,000 batteries, prepared by the Economic Commission of Shanghai, were flown to the Shuangliu Airport in Chengdu on the early morning of Monday.
The MOC launched an emergency response to ensure the supply of daily necessities soon after the earthquake.
The ministry requires local authorities to keep up with the market supply situation in quake-hit regions of Ya'an City, according to a statement.
Local authorities should monitor the supplies and prices of necessities and make a daily report to the MOC, the statement said.
Provinces near Sichuan should mobilize major enterprises to provide necessary assistance in ensuring market supplies and disaster relief, the MOC said.
The ministry also pledged to help business operations in quake-hit areas and in a timely manner release information concerning the supplies of daily necessities and disaster-relief materials.