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China: Sichuan Earthquake-struck areas are undergoing heavy rain and thunderstorms

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Sichuan Province was under the attack of severe rainstorms ever experienced in a hundred years since 21st September until present. According to statistical rainfall records, the city of Jiangyou had 129.4 mm and in some districts, they attained 338.7 mm. The Provincial Thunder-strike Prevention Monitoring Centre recorded over 5,000 thunder-strikes, concentrated mainly in Mianyang, Chengdu, Guangyuan and Leshan, Deyang, Ya'an and other areas.

Continuous heavy rain in the disaster areas inflicted further injury, and posed serious threat to the life and limb, and possession of the people. The heavy rainstorms in the past a few days occasioned floods, landslides, resulted in damages of communication routes, bridges being washed away, prefabricated accommodations ruined, large area of agricultural production spoiled, large number of farm animals lost. Electricity, transport routes and communication in many counties and villages were cut off. By 7 a.m. on 26th September, heavy rainstorms and strong winds have inflicted disaster to 136 village counties and 1,298,000 victims in this natural disaster. 16 people were killed and 48 persons reported missing. People trapped in isolated areas and those facing emergency evacuation totaled 20,000.

Staff of the Jinde Charities' Chengdu Office were prevented from making direct access in the first line relief effort to the disaster-stricken areas due to inaccessibility of damaged transport routes. However, they were successful to contact the responsible person for relief work in the disaster areas through telephone in areas such as the four Counties of Beichuan, Wenchuan, Qingchuan, Pingwu, and those in the two towns of Tongkou, Yuli and the Home for the Elderly in Guixi.

According to the briefing of the Director of the Civil Affairs Department of Pingwu., all roads leading to Pingwu were cut off. And all transport and communication routes with Nanba and five neighboring counties were completely broken down. 12,000 people lost all contact and the local government has been organizing remedial effort to effect urgent repairs.

The water level at the Tang Jiashan Lake, artificially formed by previous landslide embankment was reported to be rising to an alarming level, due to large-scale landslides in the catchment areas, blocking the overflow channels. The Yuli Village of Beichuan is facing the danger of being flooded for the second time. When telephone contact was being made to the Village Chief of Yuli, Mr. Wang was leading militia to combat the danger of flooding.

We are deeply concerned with the current state of affairs in the disaster-stricken areas and would report promptly when opportunity arises. As we are unable to gain access to the disaster-stricken areas, all photos are adopted from relevant websites. (by Jinde Charities' Chengdu Office Staff)