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Life resumes in quake-stricken Ludian one month later

Xinhua, September 4, 2014 Adjust font size:

One month after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake jolted southwest China's Ludian, Yunnan Province, life for survivors goes on.

According to the provincial civil affairs department, as of Tuesday a total of 317,800 people have been relocated from disaster-hit areas, with financial support, tents, quilts, folding beds and clothes provided.

On Wednesday, in Huijiezi relocation center in Longtoushan Township, the epicenter of the earthquake which claimed more than 600 lives on August 3, quake-relief soldiers and medical staff were still around.

But shouts of street vendors and the smell of cooking food at noon around the relocation center hinted daily life may be getting back to a normal rhythm.

Xie Weili lives alone in the No. 72 tent in B section of the relocation center. The 63-year-old man lost six relatives during the disaster, including his daughter and granddaughter.

Boxes of instant noodles, biscuits and bottled waters were piled up in his tent. "Those are from the government," said Xie, "But I still pick peppers to earn some money."

A group of Xie's friends took turns picking peppers on the mountain. "Life needs to move on and we want to rely on ourselves," the 63-year-old said.

Near the relocation center, villagers brought their children to play with toy bricks and balloons in children's area built by the China Women Development Foundation. The organization said there are a total of five such facilities in Ludian.

A new semester began on Monday in 231 makeshift schools.


More than 3,000 students attended psychological counseling during their first class period in Longquan Middle School at Longtoushan Township.

Although a month has passed since the disaster, most of the survivors are not recovered from the pain of losing their loved ones.

Zhang Yuanshan had been the village head of Ganjiazhaishe for more than ten years. A landslide triggered by the earthquake a month ago has completely destroyed his village together with more than 70 households. Forty-five villagers have since been buried under the ruins forever.

Zhang actively helped his villagers receive medical treatment and relocate immediately after the quake. But he quit his job ten days ago.

"I had too much pressure from losing more than ten family members, especially my little daughter," Zhang said.

According to Wu Kankan, a researcher of the Institute of psychology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the negative emotions are still significant among quake victims in Ludian.

About 100 teachers received psychological counseling training before school, in a program started by the Institute of Psychology with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The institute will carry out psychological assistance in Ludian for a year, said Wu, who is also in charge of the program.

In a seventh-grade class Tuesday, students were given a piece of white paper and crayons and were asked to express their anxiety on paper and vent their negative emotions.

"I told my students that their happy and healthy life would be the best comfort for their departed families," said Shi Junhua, an elementary school teacher in Longquan Village of Longtou Township.

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