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Fellow-sufferers bring mutual comfort in Mianyang Relief Center
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By Keen Zhang

China.org.cn correspondent reporting from Mianyang, Sichuan Province

 Little girls play with China.org.cn reporter joyously outside the Jiuzhou Stadium.

"Car. Banana." A little girl was trying to murmur some English words to David Ferguson, one of the China.org. reporters who are traveling around the deadly earthquake zones in Sichuan Province. The death toll rose to 51,151 yesterday.

The girl's family was with her, living temporarily in a tent. She and her sisters seemed to have put aside memories of the horrible moment on the afternoon of May 12 that robbed them of their grandfather. They play joyously with us.

This is Mianyang City's biggest shelter, the Jiuzhou Stadium.

"Children are innocent and have little understanding about what really happened", her mother explained to us, smiling through the flash of grief in her eyes. The extended family, including their grandmother, came by foot to the relief camp from Chen Jia Ba, a village in Beichuan County, one of the worst hit areas.

"We lost everything," the woman said. "Our hometown is gone. Some flat land has been transformed into cliffs. I have been back once since the quake and I hardly knew the place."

She said she didn't know how long they would stay here, nor where they would rebuild their homes, but she's convinced that it will take at least a year to get to grips with the problems.

Mianyang, the second biggest city in Sichuan and a hi-tech city in southwest China, has a population of 5.3 million people and spreads over 20,000 square kilometers. Anxian and Beichuan counties are among the worst-hit areas. Over 100,000 homeless people from Beichuan, Pingwu, Anxian, Mianzhu, Jiangyou and Shifang have come to downtown Mianyang for help.

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