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Aftershocks add to misery in China

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Aftershocks add to misery in China


Strong aftershocks continue to strike earthquake-devastated parts of China, forcing exhausted soldiers and rescuers to run for cover. Even the Chinese president had a speech interrupted when he visited one of the areas worst affected by Monday’s quake. The official death toll has reached almost 30,000, but that is expected to rise to more than 50,000.

Five days after the quake, survivors continue to be found among the rubble and debris. But it is mostly bodies being recovered now: those who had no chance of escape. Many residents continue to voice anger about buildings that collapsed too easily, with claims of no control over shoddy construction. It is estimated that about 4.8 million people have lost their homes, and rescuers say there is now a race against the clock to reach survivors still trapped in the rubble.

On top of dealing with the grief of losing loved ones, residents are facing a threat from unstable ground, dams and reservoirs. Tens of thousands have fled one county over warnings that a lake was about to burst its banks.

Hope is raised every time someone is found alive, but people know that recovery will be long and painful.

The aftershocks are keeping people away from damaged buildings, and authorities are worried about the increasing risk of disease. And almost a week after the 7.9 magnitude quake, many remote areas are reported to be still waiting for help.

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