Hot food and warm tents: how affected residents in Gansu get through first night after earthquake
Published: Dec 20, 2023 12:10 AM
Photo: Li Hao/GT

Photo: Li Hao/GT

After a 6.2-magnitude earthquake took over 100 lives in Gansu province, Gansu's local governments raced against time and coldness to provide shelters and food for people affected by the earthquake. 

The Global Times reporters visited a shelter at Dahe village in Jishishan County in Gansu on Tuesday night. Roughly 130 tents were erected at a square in the village center. A person from Blue Sky rescue team, who helped set up the tents, told the Global Times that a tent can accommodate three to five people. "All those tents have electricity and heating," he said. 

Some people in the shelter were calling their families to report their safety; some were lining in front of the hot stoves waiting for food. Volunteers preparing the food, including steamed buns, tried to calm people in the shelter: "don't worry, you all can get the food. Tomorrow we can get you beef noodles." 

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, the quake jolted at 11:59 pm Monday and has a focal depth of 10 kilometers. The epicenter Liugou Township is about 8 kilometers from the county seat of Jishishan Bao'an, Dongxiang, Salar Autonomous County in Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

As of 4:50 pm on Tuesday, the death toll from the earthquake has risen to 127, including 113 from Gansu Province and 14 from Qinghai, Xinhua reported. 

Vehicles carrying relief goods from all over the country are pouring into the shelter. Large trucks carrying relief goods can be seen all the way from Gansu's capital city Lanzhou to Dahe village. China's Ministry of Emergency Management, along with other government departments, has already dispatched a third patch of relief goods to Gansu, including 2,000 tents, 5,000 folding beds, 5,000 cotton coats, and 10,000 cotton blankets.

An officer from PLA's Western Theater Command named Li Kai told the Global Times that his team rushed to Dahe village the moment they were informed about the earthquake. Li said they helped transfer the victims and move their belongings, such as furniture and livestock. "Some of those people are not rich so we are doing what we can to reduce their losses." 

A 15-year-old boy told the Global Times that although his parents were not with him at the moment, he got a lot of help from his teachers and classmates after the earthquake. "I got everything I need right now. I am not hungry nor cold," the boy told the Global Times. 

Hao Xiangyong, head of the emergency medical relief team from Gansu Provincial People's Hospital that went to Dahe village, told the Global Times that they have already treated more than 70 injured people since Tuesday morning, and those in severe condition were sent to hospitals with better conditions.

A mobile field hospital established by the Gansu Provincial People's Hospital's emergency medical relief team could provide X-ray examinations for earthquake victims to confirm cases of fractures or broken bones. The mobile hospital's blood testing unit can examine victims' blood and urine samples to determine instances of blood loss and diagnose certain physical injuries. For patients requiring emergency surgery, the surgical vehicle brought along can provide necessary operations.

"For people with more severe injuries, we first administer IV fluids and other stabilizing treatments to regulate their vital signs before evacuating them to hospitals with better resources. Our supplies are currently abundant," said Hao.