Frustration rises from rubble of China’s deadly quake

An earthquake survivor carries a baby and a sign that reads,
An earthquake survivor carries a baby and a sign that reads,

Hundreds of survivors of a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that hit southwest China, killing nearly 200 people, pushed into traffic along a main road today, waving protest signs, demanding help and shouting at police.

“We are in the open air here. No place to sleep, nothing to eat. No one is paying any attention to us,” said Peng Qiong, 45, a farmer in Chaoyang village on the outskirts of Lushan, near the epicenter.

China has poured resources into Sichuan since the early Saturday quake, including 1 billion yuan ($161.9 million) from central coffers for disaster relief and compensation. About 18,000 troops are in the area.

The earthquake killed at least 186 people and injured more than 11,000, state media said.

But while many have praised the government for its swift response, growing anger among some underscores the government’s challenge, magnified by the fact that Sichuan bore the brunt of a 7.9 earthquake in 2008 that killed nearly 70,000 people.

In some cases, roads closed to non-emergency traffic have been clogged with all kinds of government vehicles.

On the way to Baoxing, a heavily damaged area about 40 km (25 miles) from Lushan, idling ambulances, troop transporters, construction vehicles and tour buses for relief workers blocked both lanes of the road, making access possible only on foot or by weaving motorcycles.

“NO CHOICE BUT PROTEST”

Tian Kuanqian surveyed a winding fissure that split the upper level of his house. For more than two days, the 40-year-old farmer has watched as emergency vehicles passed their wrecked village by.

“If they continue to ignore us like we are trivial, we will have no choice but to protest,” he said.

The back room hung of Tian’s house was torn from the building and perched on a steep slope. Inside, a poster of former revolutionary leader Mao Zedong hung above a collapsed wall. Tian’s family including elderly parents sleep on the ground.

“It’s been three days and we haven’t seen noodles or water. What we need are tents,” Tian said.

A police officer in Chaoyang trying to clam protesters on the road said the authorities were doing all they could.

“Our leaders have visited and we’re working getting these people food and water,” said the officer, who declined to give his name.

Mountainous terrain and poor infrastructure have made reaching victims difficult. The Xinhua news agency said aftershocks had triggered landslides that blocked a main road.

The damage to listed businesses in the area appeared limited. Toll road operator Sichuan Expressway said none of its roads were damaged, while motor-maker Dongfeng Electric said the quake did not cause any losses.

China Lumena New Materials Corp said none of its equipment in Sichuan had been damaged, while department store owner Maoye International said its subsidiary, Chengshang Group, whose principal business is in Sichuan, said all stores were operating normally.

In Zhongba village, part of Baoxing, residents said it took two days for help to arrive. When it did, supplies and tents were in short supply. Almost all buildings are damaged and many have collapsed.

Zhang Zhenghua, a 41-year-old farmer, said officials drove through the village on Monday and stopped briefly to apologize for the delay in help.

“The secretary mentioned subsidies to rebuild our homes. We hope they do what they say,” Zhang said.

(Writing by John Ruwitch; Editing by Robert Birsel)



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…