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Official explains difficulties in quake rescue

Frequent aftershocks and scattered victims are making search and rescue work following the Ya’an earthquake moredifficult than the quake in 2008, said Xie Wuzhong, director of the political department of the Sichuan provincial militarycommand, in a comment to CRI Online.

"More than 8,000 military soldiers have been sent to disaster areas including Lushan, Baoxing and Qionglai (county) asof Sunday morning,” said Xie, who was on site to instruct rescue workers. "So far the progress is going well.”

Xie attributes the frequent aftershocks and scattered victims as the two biggest problems facing the rescue work.Though the earthquake magnitude isn’t as powerful as the Wenchuan quake, the difficulties in aid and relief have notabated, he said.

"Unlike the Wenchuan quake, the Ya’an earthquake did not collapse whole blocks of buildings, but the earthquakedestroyed more than 90 percent of local buildings,” said Xie.

"Local residents in Lushan live apart from each other as it’s a mountainous area, while disaster areas such asBeichuan and Mianzhu during the Wenchuan earthquake were more resident-concentrated,” he said.

More than 100 people have been rescued by soldiers from the Sichuan provincial military command. Xie said they haveplenty of people, and superiors said they will not increase rescue forces.

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