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New-borns christened to remember quake

YA'AN, Sichuan - Mothers in quake-hit areas in Southwest China named their new-borns with characters like "luck" and"quake" to mark their births after the devastating earthquake.

Over a dozen babies have been delivered in make-shift tents or even in the open air since the 7.0-magnitude quakejolted Ya'an city in Sichuan province on Saturday, leaving over 200 people dead or missing and injuring hundreds ofothers.

A mother gives birth to a baby at a makeshift tent set up at the People's Hospital of Ya'an, Sichuan province which was struck bya 7.0-magnitude earthquake, April 20, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

Two babies have been named "Zhensheng," meaning "born in quake, " including one delivered in Ya'an and another inLushan county near the epicenter, both shortly after the quake that struck at 8:02 am.

"We've decided to name her 'Zhensheng' to commemorate her special birthday," said Zhang Min, who gave birth in theyard of Lushan People's Hospital after strong tremors damaged the building.

Another baby girl born in that hospital was given the pet name "Lutian," or "open air," to commemorate her thrillingadventure into this world.

"I was about to be taken to the operating table when the earthquake hit. I was jolted onto the ground, and the wall nearme collapsed with a crash -- it was really scary," said the mother Lu Tao.

With the help of her families and medical staff, Lu painstakingly moved to a lawn outside the building, where she gavebirth to the girl about two hours later.

"The last character of her given name would be 'ping' of the word 'pingan' (meaning safe or peace), as we wish her apeaceful life, and never again will she experience disasters like this," said the baby's grandmother.

Zhang Jing, who produced a girl on Monday morning in Baoxing after the quake cut communication and materialsupplies to the county, named her baby "Yuanyuan," meaning destiny or luck.

Zhang said her and doctors in the make-shift operating room laboured for two hours, struggling with regularaftershocks and a lack of electricity and water, for the baby to be born safely.

News of the "earthquake babies" have been greeted with good wishes on the Internet.

"You're born at a hard time, so be tough, and be grateful, especially to your mother, who has endured more to give youlife," said one comment on Sina Weibo, a popular microblogging site in China.

Some babies have been transferred to other cities as local make-shift tents lacked nursery facilities. Xinhua reportersalso said many babies in Ya'an needed baby formula and diapers.

The city is also expecting more "earthquake babies" as pregnant women wait for their imminent delivery.

Among them is Luo Zifen, who is 38 weeks into her pregnancy. Suffering a fracture in one leg after being hit by fallingbricks, Luo made her way out of the rubble and was later offered a ride to the county hospital.

At a temporary triage center, Luo was bandaged up but did not receive an X-ray examination or further medication.

"The pain is killing me," said Luo, beaming. "But I can bear it, as long as it's for my baby."

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