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Trauma soothed after deadly quake


08:04, April 27, 2013

LUSHAN, Sichuan, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Anxious and worn out, Xiao Cheng sat silently as class took a break in a makeshift school which is a tent.

The 16-year-old has found it difficult to sleep and is easily startled ever since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake severely damaged his home in Lushan County, southwest China's Sichuan Province, on April 20.

"The aftershocks are so scary that I am afraid of losing my family," said the slim teenager who barely survived the earthquake with his family.

In a counselling center set up in the tent school in Longmen Township, Xiao Cheng (alias) took an hour-long session playing computer games and deep breathing with Zhu Zhuohong, a counsellor with the Institute of Psychology of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

"I feel more relaxed now", said Xiao Cheng after the session.

What Xiao Cheng is going through, according to Zhu, is a post-traumatic response as constant flashbacks of the disaster causes excessive concern of future shocks.

In the face of an earthquake that destroyed lives and properties, psychological intervention is needed to help people deal with the quake's emotional impact and move on.

Counselling services are still available for survivors five years after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck Wenchuan in the same province, leaving about 87,000 people dead or missing and more than 370,000 injured.

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Touching moments:

Daily life of quake victims in Sichuan

High school students prepare for exam in tent

Rescuers struggling to reach every household

Soldiers bring hope to earthquake-hit region

First night after deadly earthquake

Rescuers work hard at quake-hit area in Sichuan

>>>Quake-hit China grows in pain

The principle of sparing no efforts to save lives cannot be more stressed. No minute or even second should be delayed during the "golden rescue period" in the first 72 hours after the quake.

>>>Pilot cancels wedding to participate in quake relief

When the 7.0-magnitude quake happened, Zhang Shangnian, a pilot from an aviation brigade of Chengdu Military Region, was about to hold his wedding.

>>>Nurse returns to work after losing mother

Just likes other medical staff, she was busy with rescuing people injured in the earthquake in SW China, but no one knew her mother just died in the quake.

>>>Wedding ceremony without bridegroom held on schedule

Zhuo Jia, the bridegroom, is a solider of the Chengdu Military Region; he had to leave his beautiful bride behind to participate in earthquake relief.

>>>An injured girl's smile moves many

"Your smile makes the entire world beautiful,” a photo of a smiling girl with bandage on her head has moved so many Chinese netizens.

>>>Teenager saves mom with his bare hands

The mother moves away a precast slab weighing over 50 kilograms alone to save her son in the earthquake. She said she did not know where her strength came from.

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