Hope in shelters after Jiuzhaigou quake

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-12 14:55:16|Editor: Mengjie
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JIUZHAIGOU, Sichuan, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- In a mountainous village shaken by Tuesday's earthquake, Zhang Chao hands out tents to locals who must camp out on the open ground.

The 7.0-magnitude quake struck Jiuzhaigou County in southwest China's Sichuan Province Tuesday night, leaving 24 dead and hundreds injured.

Zhangzha Village, in the town of the same name, is close to the epicenter. It has about 1,000 residents.

"We purchased a lot of tents overnight following the earthquake and transported them here on Thursday morning," said Zhang, with Amity Foundation, a Jiangsu-based non-government organization.

He joined government relief workers and other volunteers to attend to the needs of the locals.

Zhang said his colleagues will stay on for about a month.

You Zhongta, 40, is a villager in Zhangzha. Before the quake struck, he ran a guest house with 28 rooms, which were full every day since the summer holiday began.

Most of the local residents depend on tourism.

Jiuzhaigou is home to the country's prime national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its spectacular waterfalls, pristine plateau lakes and karst formations.

As accommodation is not allowed within the site, tourists typically choose to stay in nearby villages, creating business opportunities for the locals.

"The quake basically damaged all houses in the village, and we had no choice but to camp outside on the mountains," You said.

While rescue workers evacuated tens of thousands of tourists, the residents who suffered the biggest losses were not forgotten.

The government organized locals to evacuate damaged homes for fear of aftershocks.

Relief materials including tents, quilts, purified water, instant noodles, rice and sausages soon came.

"Electricity has not yet been restored and water is still in short supply," Suo Langman, 35, said. "But I have confidence in the government, and I believe they will get us out of trouble very soon."

In Zhangzha Village, Hu Yushu was busy cooking noodles and giving out free drinks to rescue workers and residents whose houses were damaged in the natural disaster.

Hu, 46, operates a supermarket in the village. The supermarket also suffered damage in the quake.

"I want to do something to help the rescue workers and local villagers," Hu said.

Ge Daofeng's noodle shop was destroyed by the quake too.

"The quake caused me a direct economic loss of about 6 million yuan," he said. Despite the financial losses, he donated 10 boxes of purified water, 30 boxes of rice and 10 boxes of instant noodles to local residents.

"It may take a year or two for the village to recover," Ge said. "But I believe that with the help of the government and the Party, we will make it."