News / Asia

Rescue Workers Struggle to Reach Victims of China Earthquake

A woman looks over at her destroyed house in Gucheng village in Longmen county of southwestern China's Sichuan province, April 21, 2013. A woman looks over at her destroyed house in Gucheng village in Longmen county of southwestern China's Sichuan province, April 21, 2013.
x
A woman looks over at her destroyed house in Gucheng village in Longmen county of southwestern China's Sichuan province, April 21, 2013.
A woman looks over at her destroyed house in Gucheng village in Longmen county of southwestern China's Sichuan province, April 21, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Shannon Van Sant
— Rescue teams in southwestern China continue to search for survivors of Saturday's earthquake, despite heavy rainstorms that have hampered the effort to reach victims.  
 
A massive search and rescue effort is underway in Sichuan Province, a day after an earthquake flattened buildings and sent panicked residents into the streets.  Chinese state media report more than 200 killed and more than 10,000 injured.  Those figures are expected to rise as rescue teams reach remote villages in the mountainous region.  
 
Luo Tongyang, a search and rescue volunteer, is less than 10 kilometers away from the epicenter of the quake, near the city of Ya’an.
 
He says there are five- or six-hundred people, including the elderly and the children, who are in the streets and will not go back into their homes.  
 
The U.S. Geological Survey measured the earthquake at 6.6 magnitude, while Chinese authorities say the magnitude was 7.0.  Aftershocks persisted for several hours.  The earthquake was centered less than 100 miles from the provincial capital of Chengdu.   
 
Cheng Dongning, a volunteer in Chengdu, says the city has not set up tents.  She says since the 2008 earthquake, construction has improved in Chengdu and homes there are safe.  

The massive 2008 quake in Sichuan left more than 87,000 people dead or missing.  The collapse of government schools during that quake led to widespread protests of poor building construction.  

Late Saturday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived via helicopter to oversee rescue efforts.  State media say China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs has dispatched 30,000 tents, 50,000 cotton blankets and 10,000 makeshift beds to the area.   
 
Luo Tongyang says volunteers are providing people with food and tents, but do not have enough supplies.  Luo also says there is no place to shelter victims from inclement weather.    
 
Rainstorms have caused more landslides in the region, slowing rescue work. A car carrying 17 Chinese soldiers to the quake epicenter fell into a river, killing two of the soldiers.  Some rescue teams report having to dynamite boulders and hike for several hours to reach affected villages.  
 
Water, electricity and gas supplies remain cut to much of the affected region.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid