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Volunteers in action: Jinhua Town still isolated
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By Yi Yan Tang (http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog 489d718a010092er.html) at 23:43:36, May 14, 2008

I finally managed to join a volunteer team on the morning of May 14.

Tuofeng off-road vehicle club, the volunteer team I worked with, delivered relief supplies to Mianzhu at the request of the Red Cross. When we arrived in Mianzhu, the scene was more terrible than our worst fears. Few of the buildings in the town have escaped undamaged. Shacks have been erected along the streets and inhabitants desperate for drinking water can be seen everywhere. Victims are so thirsty that they try to stop our vehicles and grab our fresh water.

We intended to head for the worst-hit disaster area in Mianzhu. But we were told by a traffic policeman that the route was so busy it was proving difficult even to evacuate the injured.

We changed our plan and decided to make our way to another badly-hit area, Jinhua town, guided by a local volunteer. However huge rocks blocked the way, and we could get no further than Yungai village, 30 km from Jinhua. Some villagers told us it was impossible to get further without the help of heavy-engineering equipment.

We therefore distributed our supplies to Yungai's villagers.

We learned from the villagers that the waterway has been blocked by a landslide near Yungai village. This has resulted in water pits 20 meters deep that could collapse at anytime. The villagers are taking shelter in the dry river-bed. They know how dangerous it is but they have no choice. They could be buried by a landslide if they stay at the foot of the mountain.

We donated all of our supplies to them and asked them to send some to victims in other villages. They thanked us and promised they would try to help other victims.

On the way back, we heard of some victims in poor condition. We were able to transport several badly-injured to a county relief center. Among the injured, a very old woman in her 90s was dying. There were also two people in their 70s with fractures to their arms and legs. The lack of immediate medical treatment was going to result in amputations.

Most volunteers at the disaster scene could not help crying at the sight of such terrible damage.

(China.org.cn translated by Wu Huanshu, May 16, 2008)

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