Snapshots of devastating China quake

Updated: 2013-04-21 15:28


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LUSHAN - A devastating earthquake that shook southwest China's Sichuan province Saturday has killed 181 people and injured more than 10,000 as of midday Sunday.

An additional 24 people are reported missing.

The 7.0-magnitude quake jolted Lushan County of Ya'an, a city near the provincial capital Chengdu, at 8:02 a.m. Saturday Beijing Time.

Rescuers are racing against time to save lives, hoping to take full advantage of the first 72 hours after the quake, a period in which survivors are still likely to be found.

Here are some snapshots from the quake sites.


As vehicles carrying rescuers waited in lines at the end of a congested highway leading to Lushan County Sunday morning, a woman tapped their windows to distribute boiled eggs.

Zou Guangqin, 56, is a peasant woman from Yingjing, a county of Ya'an City which was also affected by the quake.

Zou said she became restless when she saw rescue vehicles fully loaded with People's Liberation Army soldiers, armed police officers and firefighters passing her village to other seriously-battered areas. "They remind me of my son, who is also a soldier."

The highway that passes her village in Datianba Township and links to Tianquan County was packed with vehicles, including trucks carrying rescuers and relief supplies, cars carrying reporters and local residents eager to go home to the quake zones.

Traffic was so slow that most of the vehicles were at a standstill for two hours.

"So I went home and boiled all the eggs I had, several hundred in all," Zou said.

Many people helped her distribute eggs and water to the passing vehicles.


When the quake struck, more than 1,000 students were stranded in a town about 20 km from the epicenter.

They were fine arts majors from nationwide schools who were painting in Shangli, an ancient town known for its beautiful landscape north of Ya'an's Yucheng district.

"The local residents lent a helping hand, despite their own homes being damaged in the quake," said Li Wei, a teacher who was in Shangli with 120 students from a school in Shaoyang City, in the central province of Hunan.

A local inn keeper set up tents outside his inn, where the students also had their meals. By Saturday night, the local government had mobilized more than 20 buses to take the stranded students to safety.

The students were evacuated overnight. Li and his students arrived in Chongqing municipality early Sunday and will take a train back to Hunan later.


Yang Yurong is a petite woman like most native Sichuanese, but she removed a 100-kg precast slab by herself to save her grown-up son.

When the quake struck, Yang had dressed her baby grandson and was ready to buy fertilizer at a local market. As she felt the tremor, she carried the baby out into the open and yelled for the rest of the family to get up and flee.

She saw her 12-year-old daughter and her son-in-law escape but her son was stranded in the washroom.

Their home was collapsing and bricks and furniture were falling down. Yang rushed into the washroom and saw her son was under a toppled precast slab, which was at least 2 meters long. With strength Yang never knew she had, the grandmother removed the slab, creating a 50-cm crevice through which her son escaped, with slight injures on his back and head.