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Rescuers Access Remote Areas to Continue Relief Work

Rescuers have accessed remote areas of Sichuan Province, and have evacuated more survivors. They had to overcome difficult terrain to reach villages high in the mountains.

They've been marching for six hours. Their destination is two badly-affected villages in Hanwang town, Mianzhu city. The team of 30 rescuers has cut a narrow path. It's the first and only road to help bring the villagers out of the mountain. 3000 villagers and one hundred injured have been successfully evacuated.

More medical teams from the general hospital of the PLA have been sent to the remote quake-stricken areas. Rescue teams began transporting food, clean water and medicines to the areas on Sunday. With most of the roads still blocked, materials must be sent to the villages by foot. A return trip takes at least five hours, but can take up to two days. Food and medicines have been given to local people in Luobu village, nearly 2,000 meters above sea-level.

50,000 stranded people in Sichuan have been evacuated. The last 15 unblocked roads will be opened soon. 37,000 medical staff are now working on the front line to take care of more than 12,000 people who are injured.

As the temperature rises, prevention of disease outbreaks has been a top priority. Over 700 staff have entered about 120 of the 171 badly-hit towns and villages to keep a close watch on the safety of food, drinking water and water resources.

(CCTV May 20, 2008)

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