Lack of tents, shelter for Funing tornado victims

Updated: 2016-06-27 08:34

By Zhu Lixin and Xu Wei in Funing, Jiangsu(China Daily)

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Lack of tents, shelter for Funing tornado victims
People sift through the debris of their homes on Saturday after a tornado hit Funing county, Jiangsu province. The death toll stood at 99, local authorities said on Sunday. Kuang Linhua / China Daily

Residents in tornado-hit Funing county, Jiangsu province, faced a shortage of tents and shelter options over the weekend despite a flood of donations.

On Sunday, the local authorities said the fierce storm on Thursday had killed 99 people, injured 846 and turned thousands of people's homes into rubble.

The disaster-hit area has received help from all sections of society, with donations from nearby cities and enterprises. However, most donations were of bottled water and instant food, and there was still a shortage of mats, mosquito repellent and flashlights.

Li Jianhao, a 41-year-old worker at a government relief settlement in Funing, said the donated bottled water has filled the settlement's warehouses. "We can only stack the bottles outdoors now," he said.

Some residents unwilling to travel the 3 to 5 kilometers to the settlement have opted to sleep on the ground near their home.

Qi Guolai, 57, of Jiqiao village, said he had tried asking for a tent to be set up near his home, but "they told us there were simply no tents to spare for us".

The government has set up one settlement at Shuoji Primary School, where the classrooms have been turned into a shelter.

According to a volunteer who gave only her surname, Zhou, as many as 50 people were sharing one classroom. "We can still manage, though, because most of the people leave during the day to clear up their homes," she said.

Cui Zhongchun, an official in Jiqiao village, said more than 160 households are in his jurisdiction and that none of those who had applied for tents had received them.

"I'm mad about this. I don't know by what standards they are giving out the tents," he said.

Li Fuqiao, a 66-year-old resident, said that she, like many others, has had to continually wander through the village to ensure her family does not miss any relief materials.

"We put a few wooden boards recovered from the debris on the ground. That has made do for our beds so far," she said.

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