News / Asia

Rains Hamper Quake Rescue Efforts in Southern China

  • Rescuers and residents search for survivors after an earthquake hit Longtoushan township, Ludian county, Yunnan province, China Aug. 4, 2014. 
  • A man walks among the collapsed buildings after an earthquake hit Longtoushan township, Ludian county, Yunnan province, Aug. 4, 2014.
  • Rescuers bow to pay tribute to residents who were killed during an earthquake in Longtoushan township, Ludian county, Yunnan province, Aug. 4, 2014. 
  • An injured woman walks with her relatives after an earthquake hit Longtoushan township, Ludian county, Yunnan province, Aug. 4, 2014. 
  • A car smashed by debris after an earthquake hit Longtoushan township, Ludian county, Yunnan province, Aug. 4, 2014. 
  • Rescuers search for survivors among the collapsed buildings after an earthquake hit Ludian county, Yunnan province, Aug. 4, 2014. 
  • Paramilitary policemen carry an injured resident with a makeshift stretcher after an earthquake hit Longtoushan township of Ludian county, Yunnan province, Aug. 4, 2014. 

Rescue workers in southern China are battling heavy rain as they try to reach survivors from Sunday’s earthquake that killed at least 398 people and injured 1800 others. The magnitude 6.1 quake was the strongest in more than a decade in Yunnan province.

Rescue workers in Yunnan’s Ludian county, continued looking for survivors on Monday after the earthquake hit the largely rural area on Sunday.

Officials say many people are still missing, but rescue operations are hindered by heavy rains and landslides which have blocked access to some of the affected areas.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The weather conditions forced emergency crews to carry equipment on foot, and delayed the landing of army helicopters dispatched on Monday from the neighboring province of Sichuan.

A policeman involved with the rescue efforts to clear up a road leading to the epicenter told China's state television CCTV big rocks fell on the road shortly after the earthquake.

PM surveys damage

“There was no way we could break through them with the machine. We have to use explosives to open up a path for rescue services," he said.

The epicenter was in Ludian county, home to more than 250,000 people.

China's premier Li Keqiang arrived in the city of Zhaotong, in Ludian county, on Monday afternoon. He then walked on foot for five kilometers because rubble obstructed roads near the epicenter, Chinese media reported.

Li instructed local authorities to provide adequate food, shelter and medical treatment. Media reports throughout Monday highlighted a shortage of water, tents as well as blood and medicines.

“Authorities dispatched people from the National Search and Rescue Team, and they will enter these areas using helicopters if the roads are blocked," explained Long Enshen with the Sichuan University’s Institute of Disaster Management and Reconstruction. "But their effectiveness at the moment is still limited. In the initial stage of the rescue work, the first and second day, it is up to local authorities to organize relief."

State news agency Xinhua said most of the homes in Ludian county were old and made of bricks. 12,000 of them collapsed, according to Xinhua.

“This is an area where the economy is still largely underdeveloped. The buildings and construction material are bad, that is why we are seeing such a high number of casualties,” stated Long.

Quake lake

Local authorities are on high alert also for a quake lake, formed after debris blocked a river near the epicenter.

Chinese media report that 800 residents were evacuated from the area, after water rose at a speed of one meter per hour.

This was the most powerful earthquake to hit Yunnan in 14 years, according to Xinhua.

Six years ago, a devastating earthquake killed tens of thousands of people in neighboring Sichuan province.

You May Like

Nearly Every Job in America Mapped in Detail

A nifty map pinpoints practically every job in the United States, revealing the economic character of America’s metropolitan areas, which also helps to inform the local culture

Corruption Busting Is Her Game

South African activist is building 'international online community of thousands of corruption fighters'

Former SAF Businessman Gives Books, Love of Reading to Students

Steve Tsakaris now involved in nonprofit Read to Rise, which distributes books in Soweto, encourages lower-grade primary school students to read

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
August 04, 2014 2:17 PM
Prevention is better than cure. How to make sure when another earthquake happens, no disaster follows. Using troops however brave to save innocent lives does not make Chinese citizens have more confidence in their government.

by: Reality
August 04, 2014 7:04 AM
Good job Chinese troops

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs