By Wu Nanlan
The search and rescue phase of the relief effort in Dujiangyan City is near its end, and work on reconstruction has already begun, sources at the Dujiangyan disaster-relief headquarters said yesterday. Soldiers are presently concentrating on removing bodies of quake victims and demolishing obviously unsafe structures. Later, experts will evaluate the condition of the city's remaining buildings. It is expected that rebuilding will take up to 3 years.
All rescuers were evacuated from Dujiangyan City yesterday since they could detect no further signs of life in the ruins. Squads of paramilitary police in protective clothing remained behind to carry on the grisly task of digging out the corpses of victims. Hundreds of trucks, bulldozers and excavators are moving into the city.
A half collapsed Bank of China was demolished yesterday. Meanwhile, dozens of sanitation workers brought in from Chengdu are busy removing trash and garbage.
Residents are trying as best as they can to retrieve televisions, fridges and other belongings from their apartments. "We have to move out. It's too dangerous here. But everything I own is in there. I have to think of the future, so I'm moving all this stuff out," said one of the residents.
Measures to prevent epidemics
Staff at the disaster relief headquarters are mindful of the health risks posed by decomposing corpses under the debris. Bodies of victims are being disinfected and buried or cremated as quickly as possible. Debris from the ruined city is being removed to a site on the outskirts of Dujiangyan.
City to be rebuilt in 3 years
Later 500 experts will carry out an evaluation of all remaining structures in the city. Dangerous buildings and structures will be demolished and reconstruction will be carried out on the original addresses. Authorities expect it will take up to 3 years to rebuild the city. In the meantime temporary housing will be erected around the city’s second ring road.
(China.org.cn May 22, 2008)