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Weather hampers quake-relief efforts

By Xu Wei and Guo Anfei in Yiliang, Yunnan (China Daily)

08:27, September 13, 2012

A man receives an acupuncture treatment on Wednesday at a relocation site in earthquake-hit Yiliang county, Yunnan province. (China Daily/Wei Xiaohao)

Harsh weather conditions continued to cause problems in quake-hit areas in Yiliang county, Yunnan province, the day after floods and rains again devastated the area and left many residents battling the common cold due to the sudden drop in temperature.

Temperatures dropped by 8 to 12 degrees after heavy rains hit the county. The rain triggered mudslides on mountains and flooded some rivers, streets and townships in Yiliang on Tuesday.

The situation may be worse in some mountain villages located near the epicenter of where Friday's two earthquakes struck, where temperatures may be even lower and emergency supplies, especially tents, have been stopped from getting due to the damaged roads.

"Many residents have caught the common cold because of the temperature drop. We have adequate supplies of medicine, but the problem is that we are lacking tents, clothes and quilts that could shelter the residents from the cold weather," said Zhou Guizhong, deputy chief of Luozehe township, who is in charge of a relocation site in the epicenter.

"The officials who are at the relocation sites are catching colds as well. The temperature drop has been too sudden," said He Ping, an official from the local bureau of civil affairs.

The local authorities have sent 800 tents and 800 quilts to Luozehe township, and soldiers from the Guizhou provincial military command are among the latest group of rescuers to climb the mountains to help make tents. A medical team has been also sent to the mountain villages.

The road leading to the epicenter was reopened on Wednesday morning after it was blocked by a landslide on Monday afternoon, according to Zhang Yuantong, an official from the local road administration department.

The water supply in the urban areas of Yiliang was still down Wednesday, and households and restaurants had to access water that was transported by trucks. Cleaning up mud from the mudslides and flooding continued in some streets and at a local hospital that was flooded on Monday night.

Contact the writers at [email protected] and [email protected]

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