A Japanese rescue team begins searching for survivors under the rubble left by the earthquake in China six days ago. It’s just one of a number of foreign crews who’ve begun work, despite Beijing’s initial rebuff of offers of help. Even Taiwan has sent personnel and the government and people have reportedly offered billions of euros in aid. China’s President Hu Jintao has thanked the international community for its help.
And amid fears of epidemic and more aftershocks, the relief efforts have borne some fruit. On Saturday, 63 people were rescued alive in Sichuan province. The authorities are also focussing on supplying fresh drinking water and improving sanitary conditions for refugees. Even private individuals are pitching in to help. French Engineer Pierre Nicodeme explains why:“Usually I’m not sensitive but to see a spectacle like this, brought tears to my eyes.”
Up to five million people have been left with nothing after the quake. And Beijing now says bad weather could worsen their plight.