Woman rescued after 67 hrs in China quake, toll nearing 600

Chinese relief workers on Wednesday saved a 50-year-old woman from the rubble, 67 hours after a powerful 6.5-magnitude earthquake destroyed her home in China’s Yunnan Province even as the death toll climbed to nearly 600 as more bodies were pulled out from the debris.

Liao Tengcui suffered from serious injuries on the waist and head and could not move her left leg when rescuers extracted her from a pile of rubble in Yinping Village of Longtongshan Township in Yunnan province, said Wang Lei, a member of China International Search and Rescue Team.

But she was still conscious at the time of rescue, he said. Rescuers rushed her to the hospital for treatment.

Liao’s daughter, who was unhurt in the quake was unable to find any help because of the damaged communication lines, stayed by her side and encouraged her to wait for rescue, he said. In two other cases, a 76-year-old man was pulled out of rubble at 5 pm on Tuesday at Babao Village, and an 88-year-old woman was rescued unhurt at the same village one hour and half later, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Another 179 people were confirmed dead on Wednesday, taking the death toll to 589.

Rescuers are continuing to comb through quake rubble in southwest China, after the expiry of the 72 hour ‘golden period’ when finding survivors becomes much less likely.

Most of the latest casualties were reported in Ludian and Qiaojia counties, where rescuers are concerned by the growing threat of barrier lakes, created when landslides block rivers.

Near the border of Ludian and Qiaojia, a barrier lake has led to the evacuation of 4,200 residents from the lower reaches of the Niulan River.

Sun Huaikun, who is in charge of the barrier lake response, said a reservoir on the upper reaches is intercepting river water to reduce pressure on the lake, while two hydropower stations on the lower reaches are speeding up the discharge of water from the lake.

Nine people in Qiaojia are missing, 2,400 are injured and another 230,000 have been relocated but are still suffering water and food shortages.


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