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Quake areas still short of supplies

By Mu Qian and Zhao Lei (China Daily)

08:15, July 26, 2013

People in some areas affected by the magnitude-6.6 quake that hit Gansu province on Monday are still facing a shortage of relief supplies, a charity coordinator said on Thursday.

"Though conditions in the worst-hit areas are getting better, incomplete information has led to an unbalanced distribution of tents, food and other necessities for less-affected places," said Meng Lin, coordinator of the Gansu Disaster Relief Initiative, a joint effort by 27 charities and social organizations in the province.

Meng said authorities and charities should switch part of their attention to those areas still lacking food and shelter.

"What are badly needed now are tents and waterproof materials, because the temperature varies greatly from day to night. Furthermore, continuing rainfall made it colder than it was on Monday and Tuesday," Meng said. Halal food is also urgently needed, given the number of Muslims in the quake-hit areas, he added.

The heavy rain has muddied rural roads and made it impossible for vehicles to reach residents of Yongguang village, one of the worst-hit areas, said Guo Yongbi, the village head. The goods are now being transported on foot, he added.

By Thursday, 95 people had been confirmed killed by the quake, which jolted the border of Minxian and Zhangxian counties. More than 1,400 people were injured, and nearly 300,000 lost their homes.

In Dacaotan, a township in Zhangxian county, at least 4,000 residents, or a third of the township's population, are living in 630 tents.

"We have reported this to the county government and requested 1,000 electric blankets," said Chen Yuanjun, Dacaotan's Party chief. "The temperature at night is usually 12 degrees lower than in the day, so we need a lot of heating equipment."

For 35-year-old Yang Yongzhong and his wife, spending all night on a bench is painful.

"Two families, or 12 people, have to share the 8-square-meter tent and there are only three beds, so only the elderly and children can sleep on beds," said Yang, who lives in Xiaolingou village.

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