Poor hard hit by China quakes

Poor farm worker Mu Xianchun escaped unhurt when the twin earthquakes hit her village in a remote area of southwest China but she faces a bleak future after what little she had was destroyed.

Like many of China's impoverished rural workers, 46-year-old Mu had few possessions of value but even they are gone after Friday's 5.6-magnitude quakes.

"All my freshly harvested sweetcorn has gone. And all of my farming tools. This is my whole life and I have no future now," she told AFP, standing outside a tent in the grounds of a local primary school in Yiliang county that is now her home.

"I am terrified of going into buildings now, we all are," said Mu, who returned home after spending a morning tending to her crops to discover concrete debris where her tiny house once stood.

Mu lived in Yiliang's Maoping village, in one of the poorly-built houses that are scattered on the banks of the winding Nanpan River in Yunnan province.

The village, squeezed in a needle-thin valley between towering cliffs, never stood a chance when the landslides came.

Straddled between the cliff face and the river is a narrow road, once the main artery of Maoping. Rocks the size of articulated lorries now lay nestled into houses.

And on the water's edge, the twisted metal of a motorcycle juts from beneath a huge chunk of rock.

Stones still trickle down the cliffs, causing alarm among aid workers and soldiers drafted in for the rescue effort, who are watching for signs of further landslides.

But there are few residents at Maoping now, just the buckled wreckage of homes and buildings.

Some residents have taken the advice of aid workers to go to nearby shelters, but most had departed before the ambulances, army vehicles and Red Cross jeeps arrived on the scene.

"It is going to rain soon and things are going to get worse," said one resident clutching two huge bags of possessions.

The weather is a major concern in Yiliang county. As the clouds gather above the mountain tops, the pace of the exodus appears to quicken.

Rain is expected and few are willing to stay and find out whether it will bring a second wave of destruction.

Many residents boarded coaches heading to the nearby city of Zhaotong while others left for nearby Yiliang City, which has become a safe haven for rootless, shell-shocked families.

The school grounds have been transformed into relocation centres, and so too have the civic squares of this typically run-down Yunnan community.

In one of dozens of tents erected outside the hospital of Yiliang City, a warm smile lights up the face of 40-year-old Qing Liu as he plays cards and eats instant noodles with his children.

After leaving his home when he witnessed the horror of the earthquake at first hand, he is content that he is now out of danger, with his family by his side.

"The house kept shaking and as I have four children, I couldn't stay there any longer. We experienced the earthquake and it was terrifying," he told AFP.

Back at the school grounds, 78-year-old Wen Yijiang, still dressed in her traditional Yunnan finery, said the mindset of local people had changed forever following the quake.

"We are all terrified. Even when people start to go back to their homes, things won't be the same again," she told AFP.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe
    National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe

    Pakistani officials are investigating after the famous green-eyed "Afghan girl" immortalised in a 1985 National Geographic magazine cover was found living in the country on fraudulent identity papers. The haunting image of the then 12-year-old Sharbat Gula, taken in a refugee camp by photographer Steve McCurry, became the most famous cover image in the magazine's history. Now Pakistani officials say that Gula applied for a Pakistani identity card in the northwestern city of Peshawar in April …

  • NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual
    NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual

    NEW YORK (AP) — The city said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision. …

  • ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’
    ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’

    Supt. Raymund Train, who led the SAF team that killed Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, recounted in a sworn statement the meeting he and senior SAF officers had with Aquino in Malacañang on Nov. 30. Train said among the senior officers who attended the meeting were then PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, SAF chief Director Getulio Napeñas, SAF deputy commander Chief Supt. Noli Taliño and intelligence group chief Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez. …

  • Duterte: Disband all armed groups
    Duterte: Disband all armed groups

    All armed groups, including those of the communists and Muslim secessionist groups, should be disbanded for the country to achieve stability, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday. Duterte said even the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Moro National Liberation Front and the New People’s Army should be asked to lay down their arms once these groups agree to join him in what he described as a unity government if he becomes President in 2016. Duterte said under the federal government that he is …

  • Vatican seeks to quell Mexican anger over pope's drug remark
    Vatican seeks to quell Mexican anger over pope's drug remark

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican sought Wednesday to defuse a diplomatic tiff with Mexico after Pope Francis referred to the possible "Mexicanization" of his native Argentina from drug trafficking, the latest instance of Francis' casual speaking style getting him into trouble. …

  • School can’t sack unwed mom – SC
    School can’t sack unwed mom – SC

    The dismissal of an employee of a Catholic school on the grounds of premarital sexual relations and pregnancy out of wedlock was illegal, the Supreme Court (SC) has ruled. In a 23-page decision promulgated on Feb. 17, the third division of the high court struck down the decision of St. Scholastica’s College-Westgrove (SSCW) in Silang, Cavite to dismiss Cheryll Santos Leus for “disgraceful or immoral conduct” in violation of the school’s 1992 Manual of Regulations for Private Schools (MRPS). …

  • Who's your daddy? Hippo ancestry unveiled
    Who's your daddy? Hippo ancestry unveiled

    A great-great grandfather of the hippopotamus likely swam from Asia to Africa some 35 million years ago, long before the arrival of the lion, rhino, zebra and giraffe, researchers said Tuesday. "The origins of the hippopotamus have been a mystery until now," Fabrice Lihoreau, a palaeontologist at France's University of Montpellier and co-author of the study, told AFP. …

  • BOC destroys P50-M smuggled shoes
    BOC destroys P50-M smuggled shoes

    The Bureau of Customs (BOC) destroyed yesterday some P50 million worth of fake footwear products earlier seized in an anti-smuggling drive. The knockoffs of popular brands such as Nike, Adidas, Converse, Skechers, Northface, Leaveland, Merelle, Lacoste, Vans, Havaianas and Ipanema were confiscated from Warehouse 4 in Olivarez Compound, Parañaque City. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options