China / Society

Tibet children recover from Sichuan quake

By HUANG ZHILING (China Daily) Updated: 2014-11-24 08:26

A group of Tibetan children jumped rope, eliciting laughter and cheers from their schoolmates at the Minyag Zogchen School in Duoha village, in the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Garze, in Sichuan province, on Sunday morning.

The laughter echoed through the village in Tagong township, Kangding, 4,010 meters above sea level, on grasslands near a gilded Tibetan temple set off against an azure sky with white clouds.

Life in the village has begun to return to normal after an earthquake struck on Saturday.

"The teachers asked us to jump rope or play football to forget the earthquake," said Lobsang Yangdrung, a 15-year-old third-grade student at the nine-year boarding school for children of herdsmen in the prefecture.

The quake hit the area at 4:55 pm on Saturday, with its epicenter in Tagong, about 37 km from the county seat.

As of press time on Sunday, five people had died and 54 were reported to be injured in the quake. All were treated in the prefecture's hospital, according to Wang Dan, an information officer in the Garzei prefecture information office.

In Minyag Zogchen School, 17 students were injured as they fled their seven-story school building.

"Many were injured because of a stampede. Before the quake, our teachers taught us to escape in a safe way in times of emergency. But we were terrified and forgot what the teachers taught when we were in such a hurry," said Nyima Tashi, an 11-year-old fifth-grade student.

A local media officer said medics from a clinic of the Sichuan Military Area Command in Kangding and a hospital in the nearby town of Xinduqiao treated more than 200 students and about 20 teachers on Sunday.

"Most of the sick teachers and students caught colds after staying in tents," said Wang Jun, head of the hospital at Xinduqiao.

Two staircases in the teaching building collapsed, and cracks appeared in the building and the students dormitories, so the 1,826 students are now living in tents.

"Workers braved danger to prepare rice, eggs, vegetables and double-cooked pork for students in the kitchen on Sunday," said Zhang Xin, a worker in charge of the school kitchen.

The prefecture government has promised to supply the school with cooked rice, meat and vegetables, said Kalzang Yungdrung, chief of the prefecture bureau of education.

The prefecture government said that the quake affected more than 70,000 people in six counties in Garze and that 30 homes collapsed. However, the power and water supplies have continued.

An 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck Wenchuan in the province on May 12, 2008, leaving nearly 90,000 people dead or missing.

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