Survivors face tough life in quake-hit Myanmar

13:57, March 29, 2011      

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By Ding Lingling, Feng Yingqiu

As food shops are still closed since a strong earthquake last Thursday hit Monglin, northeast Myanmar's Shan state, survivors are facing difficulties to get enough food and necessities for daily life.

"We have to depend on food distributed by the government or non- governmental organizations as well as by individual donors from nearby regions," Mon Mon Han, a middle-aged health official who lost her daughter in the quake, told Xinhua on Monday.

"Vehicles carrying donated foodstuff could not enter deep into village-tracts, so these food supplies were distributed on the main road where we have to wait and collect when we hear about the coming," she said.

Donated items include instant noodles, dried fish, canned fish and rice coming from the governmental relief teams, while blankets, pillows, mat and purified drinking water are offered by some local ethnic Shan and Chinese rich men.

"As day turns dark with electricity black out, we have to use candles supplied by donors in the remote region," she said.

However she pointed out one of the encouraging things that communication started to improve as traffic resumed after road repair work was done.

A small number of bulldozers were seen removing the debris in Monglin, the hardest- hit area in terms of houses.

The quake victims were accommodated in some small tents set up in the open field as they prefer to stay there for safety against aftershocks, while some injured people with emergency case were transported to Tachileik hospital for treatment.

Supervised by the Myanmar Central Natural Disaster Preparedness Committee, relief supplies have been keeping delivering to the quake-hit areas under the arrangement of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement in cooperation with the local authorities.

The aid supplies, laden by military planes, were transported to Kengtung and Tachileik airports where the supplies were picked up by military vehicles and proceeded to the quake-hit areas.

Meanwhile, traffic with a major 102-kilometer highway linking Tachileik with Kengtung, which was interrupted for three days by last Thursday's strong quake, has totally resumed Sunday afternoon, securing the accessibility to the disaster-hit region.

The damaged Tarlay Bridge were also reopen to traffic with large and small vehicles and buses driving on through the road as normal.

Myanmar said in a latest official release as of Friday night that 73 people were killed and 125 others injured in Thursday's quake. But it fears more casualties were brought about by the worst disaster which fell on Shan state in over a century as claimed by local media.

A total of 225 residential houses, 11 monasteries and 9 government department buildings were destroyed in the mainly affected areas of Tachileik, Tarlay, Naryaung, Kyatkuni and Monglin.

A strong earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale jolted Loimwe, 56 kilometers southeast of Kengtung in northeastern Myanmar on Thursday night.

The quake struck in the hills of Myanmar bordering Thailand and Laos, the golden triangle region.

Source: Xinhua

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