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Earthquake Diary (6)
The Reflection

19 February 2009

1, Eyewitness Report through the Lens
2, The Rescue Efforts
3, The Tentative Recovery
4. The Support
5, The Chinese Army

新洋 29 May 2008

Two weeks after the massive earthquake, essential services have been resumed in most quake disaster areas, with a certain degree of twist, of course.

Postal services are delivered on carts.

Local government offices set up in tents.

Clinics run by military forces.

But at least, the quake victims have enough food during the day and warm bed covers at night.

By now, the survivors have a chance to sit and view the changed landscape, reflecting on what occurred two weeks ago.

That mount wasn't there before the quake - the locals told me - in the location there used to be a river up to 100m deep. It is the power of the earthquake that tossed the entire hillock, along with the plantations grown on it, into the waterway.

An elderly woman directs my sight to the scene from a distance. "See that? That day I returned home from the farm. When I went over the hill I saw my home just right over there. Then in a split second, my village vanished without a trace, and from the deep within the mountain a reddish coloured monster jumped out, looming large in the air up to dozens metres tall."

Some better informed youths further explain to me that after a big bang, the mountain exploded, emitting lava that was hot like burning fire. A gigantic crack appeared in the earth, and some villages tragically plunged into the rift.

"I saw some people running out of the houses on the bank towards the river and fell into the gap straightway," one youth recalled, "then followed another muffled sound, the crack in the earth disappeared as if nothing had ever happened."

Under this new thick mount is an entire village buried deep.

Under this new waterway there are many villages submerged in the bottom of the river.

新洋 1 June 2008

This little boy quietly approached me and signaled me to follow him to a riverbank. "My mom has been buried underneath over there," he tells me, pointing at a hill on the other side of the waterway. "My grandpa said no one can ever get her out, not in 1,000 years."

His name is Han Mingli (韩明李). His father died before he was born, his sister buried under the rubble of a collapsed school building. And he is cared for by his aging grandpa and his grandma who is very ill.

His voice is coarse, and his expression beyond grievance. Like most kids grown up in mountain villages, he's strong and independent, but he also longings for his mom's love, terribly, since he is only a 9-year old little boy.

7, The Hope
8, The United Efforts

Prev: Earthquake Diary (4)
Next: Tibetan Prison Langzisha


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