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5 Million Left Homeless by Chinese Quake


The deadly earthquake in China's Sichuan province killed more than 51,000 people and left five million homeless. The government is now struggling to provide shelter and support for quake victims as they try to rebuild their lives. Daniel Schearf has more on relief efforts in Mianyang.

Sichuan's massive earthquake buried entire towns as mountains sheared off and crashed into buildings.

Tens of thousands of lives were lost and millions of homes destroyed, forcing quake survivors to live in tents or in sports stadiums that have been turned into camps for the displaced.

In Mianyang city, thousands now live in Jiuzhou stadium. They struggle to stay optimistic amid the devastation around them.

Yang Gongsun was not at home when the quake struck, killing eight members of his family and completely destroying his house. He says he still does not know if his 18-year-old son is alive because the telephones are not working.

Yang has a three-year-old mentally handicapped child to take care of and says they have no family or friends to live with because they too lost their homes. He says this disaster was just too big.

Quake survivors seem mostly satisfied with the basic shelter, food, and medical care, but conditions are cramped and everything is rationed, causing tempers to occasionally flare.

A policeman yells at a woman who tries to get another ration of rice porridge. "Nobody is getting enough food because of the disaster," he shouts.

China has appealed to the international community for more than three million tents to house survivors of the quake.

The millions made homeless are doing their best to cope, but many are haunted by uncertainty about the future and the memories of all they have lost.

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