Victims in Ludian earthquake get cotton quilts and instant noodles in quake-hit Longtoushan Town of Ludian County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 8, 2014. 44510 tents, 10000 emergency lights, 65997 overcoats have arrived in the quake stricken area. 11 villages of Longtoushan Town have already received relief materials. (Xinhua/Lin Yiguang)
LUDIAN, Yunnan, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Trucks loaded with tents, generators, water and food are pouring into quake-hit areas of southwest China's Yunnan Province as traffic conditions improve.
As of 8 a.m. on Friday, more than 20,000 tents, 13,000 beds, 38,000 boxes of water and 31,000 packs of instant noodles had been distributed to residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged by Sunday's 6.5 magnitude earthquake.
A lot more disaster relief goods have been carried to the zone and are ready to be handed out, according to Duan Liyuan, head of the provincial civil affairs department.
Other daily necessities including quilts, overcoats, rice, oil and portable toilets reached residents after being dropped by helicopters or transported by rescuers and volunteers, Duan said.
The disaster has left 615 people dead so far, with 114 others missing. More than 25,800 houses have been destroyed forcing relocation of 230,000 people.
Among the relocated people, about 100,000 are living in tents and other temporary shelters while the rest are in homes of relatives or friends, Duan said.
"We can say that people in the earthquake zone now have access to food, water and safe shelter," he said.
However, the official noted overcrowding in tents has become a problem in some remote sites.
The central government has allocated 2.2 billion yuan (about 358 million U.S. dollars) to fund disaster relief.
LIFE MOVES ON
Residents living in tents are unsure of when they will have a permanent home again. After four days of eating instant noodles they have begun to miss home cooking.
The meager food selection prompted one pig farmer, who's pigsty was destroyed by the earthquake, to donate a pig to be shared among other dislodged people staying in a relocation center near the worst-hit Longtoushan.
His generosity provided a brief moment of jubilation as dozens of villagers gorged on a meal of spicy fried meat and potatoes, seasoned with peppers picked from a nearby field, for lunch on Thursday.
The group of salvaged a large wok, tables and chairs out of rubble of their flattened homes, inviting rescuers and volunteers to join the feast.
"The pork will be eaten up soon. But there's always a way to get things to eat," said villager Guan Yanxing.
Rescuers are racing against the clock to get life in quake-hit regions back to normal, with access to fresh drinking water high on the agenda.
Residents in Longtoushan have had access to clean tap water since Thursday afternoon after an emergency water distribution network was put to use. The disaster cut off water supply to more than 300,000 people.
The network, providing 200 metric tons of water per day, can be used by up to 20,000 people, according to Zhang Ming, an official with the provincial housing and rural-urban development department.
Workers are installing another facility capable of producing 100 metric tons of water a day, Zhang said.
However, safe drinking water remains a headache for residents in remote, mountainous areas, where water purifying units cannot reach.
"The locals usually drink spring water and well water, which is likely to be polluted after the earthquake," he said.
Even as the government provides for the living, the dead are not being neglected. Duan Liyuan said the bodies of victims are being buried or cremated upon the approval of their family.
LUDIAN, Yunnan, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- The death toll has risen to 615, four days after a powerful earthquake devastated parts of southwest China's Yunnan Province, local authorities said on Thursday. Full story
BEIJING, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- The water level of an earthquake-formed barrier lake which is threatening residents of Yunnan Province with flooding is rising alarmingly, new monitoring results have showed. Full story