Death Toll Nears 2,000 in China's Earthquake Staff

Death Toll Nears 2,000 in China's Earthquake

April 19, 2010

The death toll from last Wednesday's earthquake has climbed to almost 2,000 with another 12,000 injured, some in serious condition, according to CNN.

Yet Monday's efforts held some good news. Three people were pulled from the rubble alive, according to The Associated Press. An elderly woman and a 4-year-old girl both survived their five-day ordeal thanks to relatives who managed to push food and water to them through the rubble. Wujian Cuomao, 68, and Cairen Baji lived 13 miles from Jiegu, the town most affected by the quake. Fox News reported that a Tibetan woman named Ritu was also rescued early Monday.

The 6.9 magnitude quake struck Yushu county early Wednesday morning, and forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes.

Chinese officials are transitioning to efforts from rescue missions to recovery and reconstruction, according to Aljazeera. Many survivors are still waiting for help in the frigid conditions of the Tibetan plateau.

"We hope they (the government) can provide us food and clothes," Suona Jiaxi, an ethnic Tibetan like the vast majority of people in Yushu, told Reuters.

"If the government can take care of us, then we can live a little better than before," the 33-year-old said.

Reuters reports that many troops and search teams left the area Sunday evening, replaced by construction vehicles and further relief efforts.

Some of the area's schoolchildren returned to their studies on Monday, even though many of their classes were held in makeshift tents.

"On the one hand students are coming back to resume classes. On the other hand, we are giving the students some psychological treatment after the disaster," Danzeng Jiangcuo, a math teacher, told Aljazeera.