Help has finally reached the earthquake victims in heavily damaged Yingxiu Town. Military engineers have gained access to the area by water, the only way to Yingxiu.
Military engineers have gained access to the area by water, the only way to Yingxiu.
Military engineers worked overnight at a makeshift ferry pier in Zipingpu Reservoir, about 16 kilometers from Dujiangyan City. They lowered the first raft into the water at 8:40 Thursday morning. Three more followed.
Each raft can ferry up to 80 tons into Yingxiu town in 90 minutes. The waterway is 37 kilometers shorter than the land route. The rafts not only bring rescuers, but also bulldozers and cranes, the heavy life-saving equipment that has been kept from the area around the epicenter by ruined roads.
A military officer said, "Each ferrying raft can carry up to 80 people, and together they can transport about 6,000 people in one day and several hundred tons of materials. This enables us to send in troops, equipment and materials into the disaster area and bring out people there, especially the injured, as quickly as possible. This waterway is by far the most effective way, the only lifeline."
So far, about 1,000 military personnel and many pieces of disaster-relief equipment have been transported into Yingxiu. And about 300 injured residents have been evacuated for treatment.
(CCTV May 16, 2008)