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Flooding takes toll on once-thriving city

By Wang Zhenghua | China Daily | Updated: 2013-10-10 07:22

The scene starts to get horrible as the train pulls into North Yuyao Railway Station.

Yuyao, a prosperous county-level city that ranked 10th in the country's 100 most powerful counties in 2012, has taken on a totally different look in the aftermath of the havoc wreaked by the flood.

More than 70 percent of the city was hit by severe flooding, as residents, left without enough food and clean water and without a place to live, have struggled to help themselves because the government has been slow to deliver relief supplies.

The once-dynamic city lost its charm and was subject to chaos in the disaster. There is food at local grocery stores and supermarkets, but residents don't have enough cash to buy them because banking services have been paralyzed.

Because of the breakdown in telecommunication services, communication has been very difficult, and residents can hardly receive messages from authorities about when they can get help or what they can do under the circumstances.

I can't imagine how residents can make do as power and clean water won't be completely resumed for days. Many shared patchboards and charged their cell phones and electric pads at the waiting hall of the railway station, possibly the only venue that works normally.

As the night descends, the once-sparkling city turns pitch-dark, with only the headlights of some motor vehicles still on.

Residents said they have to wait for the sun to rise again, and hope there is no more precipitation in the coming days.

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