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China in full rescue efforts in quake zone


20:55, April 21, 2013

LUSHAN, Sichuan, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Military and civilian rescue teams are struggling to reach every household in Lushan and neighboring counties of southwest China's Sichuan Province, badly hit by Saturday's strong earthquake.

Armed forces involved in the relief mission are ordered to reach every village and all households in the affected areas to rescue survivors and treat the injured, said the rescue headquarters of the Chengdu Military Area Command (MAC) on Sunday.

Military rescue teams will also help transport materials, build shelters and ship supplies.


A total of 18,000 soldiers and officers from China's military and armed police forces and members of paramilitary reserve forces have been sent to the affected areas, and so far 10,000 have reached areas which are seriously stricken, said a statement of the Chengdu MAC command.

The armed forces will also dispatch 23 helicopters to carry out material transportation missions, the command statement said.

According to the head office of the armed police, 5,800 police staff have saved 103 people in quake hit areas.

Moreover, more than 2,300 firemen have been engaged in rescue work and saved 96 people, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

As of Sunday morning, a total of 982 medical workers and 202 medical vehicles had rushed to the quake-hit areas, said a statement from the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Hospitals in Sichuan received nearly 8,200 injured patients, it said.

The commission announced that the blood stock in Ya'an and Chengdu is sufficient and can fully meet needs.

It also said it has been prepared to transfer blood from across the country at any time to ensure enough is available in quake-hit areas.

In addition, ten senior medical experts from the Academy of Military Medical Sciences rushed from Beijing to Sichuan on Sunday morning to help prevent possible epidemic outbreak, including the H7N9 avian flu, the sources said.

Also on Sunday, the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television sent 300 battery-powered satellite receivers, 10,000 radios and a batch of mobile multi-media broadcast and TV receivers to the affected areas.

A total of 186 people have been confirmed dead in the 7.0-magnitude earthquake so far, according to the local government. More than 1.5 million people have been affected.


Rescuers have been struggling to reach isolated townships and villages, due to roads and telecommunication being cutoff.

Police rescuers are covering all areas of Lushan County, the epicenter of the quake, and several rescue teams struggled into neighboring Baoxing County, which remains hard to access.

More than 870 firemen have been sent to Baoxing, carrying light rescue equipment and taking 11 sniffer dogs with them.

According to the first firemen who reached the seat of Baoxing County, local residents' homes were "badly damaged, while power and water supplies as well as telecom services were shut off."

Airborne remote sensing images from the Beijing-based Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, showed more than 60 percent of buildings in the Baoxing County seat had suffered damage.

At least 38 landslide sites were found near the county seat and a number of them were on roads linking the county with other areas, which might affect transport, it said.

More medical teams are working in Lingguan, a main township in Baoxing, after obstructed roads linking Lushan and Baoxing were reopened at about 5 p.m..

Earlier in the morning, telecom signals remained weak and frequently failed so it was difficult for the national health commission to remain contact with the first two medical teams entering Lingguan, said Liang Wannian, a senior official with the commission.

Many of the injured in Lingguan have been transferred so they can receive better treatment.

The commission plans to airlift more medical workers from Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, using Air Force helicopters, Liang said.

Ten medical teams are standing by at Lushan and will reinforce Baoxing when needed, he added.

Moreover, another national earthquake emergency rescue team arrived Sunday morning at Lushan for disaster relief, the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) said.

The team consists of 200 rescue workers, including 21 seismologists and 39 medical staff, according to the CEA. They have taken more than 30 tonnes of supplies to the quake area.

Rescuers on Saturday reached Qiaoqi, a town in Baoxing, which is largely inhabited by Tibetan people. They found that the damage there was not particularly serious with only one person injured so far, according to Qing Hai, a senior officer of the fire-fighting department of Sichuan provincial police force.

The rescue headquarters also called on volunteers and non-rescue vehicles not to enter this area without permission, in order to avoid additional traffic pressure in the affected areas.


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Sunday morning visited patients injured in the strong earthquake.

At a hospital's intensive-care unit, the premier asked doctors about the conditions and treatment of several patients.

Among the patients was Yue Anhong, a local resident who was buried under rubble and seriously injured.

"Be relaxed and relieved. Doctors here will make their utmost efforts to help you recover as soon as possible," Li told her at her sickbed.

Before heading to the hospital, Li had been in Lushan County, the epicenter of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake, since Saturday afternoon, giving instructions of the rescue and relief work.

Li urged local officials to check every house and make the utmost effort to save lives so long as there is one gleam of hope, deploy capable medical personnel to treat and cure the injured, and transfer seriously injured people outside in time so as to lower the mortality rate and disability rate.

Transportation must be unimpeded, said Li, adding that the railway and transportation departments should make every effort to facilitate the entry of tents, quilts and other materials into the quake-hit area. Vehicles in the area should give way to rescue units and medical teams so that they can reach the places that need them.

Related Reading:

Chinese president orders all-out rescue efforts after strong quake

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered all-out measures to rescue victims and minimize casualties after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit southwestern province of Sichuan Saturday morning.

Chinese Premier visits epicenter after deadly quake

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday afternoon visited the area torn by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in China's Sichuan Province, calling for wasting no time to save lives.

First night after deadly earthquake in Lushan Country, Sichuan

A 7.0- magnitude earthquake which hit Lushan County on April 20 morning damaged the Lushan People's Hospital and doctors had to erect temporary tents outside the hosptial to treat the injured people.

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As of 3 p.m. today, 186 people have been killed and 21 have gone missing in the earthquake that hit southwest China's Sichuan province Saturday morning

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