Yaan earthquake

Earthquake struck faster than 2008 disaster, says survivor

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 April, 2013, 4:34pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 April, 2013, 8:06pm

The powerful earthquake which struck China’s Sichuan province on Saturday happened even faster than the quake which devastated the area five years ago, a survivor told the South China Morning Post.

Last time [in 2008] we still had time to run away,’’ said the resident from Longmen in Lushan county in Ya’an. “But today we could not get away,” said the man, who works for a local hydraulic bureau.

He said the quake - which has killed at least 124 people and hurt thousands - struck about 8.02am.

The man said he was lacerated by broken glass and was bleeding from the shoulder.

The earthquake, followed by almost a dozen powerful aftershocks, struck close to Ya’an on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, setting off landslides, destroying buildings and triggering a major rescue operation. But the damage at Longmen is so serious it is delaying rescuers and PLA soldiers.

By Saturday afternoon, the main road to Longmen was jammed with military vehicles, ambulances and fire engines. An entire street in the town has been demolished and thousands of residents are seeking help.

A pilot from the PLA’s Air Force told the Post two townships, Baosheng and Dachuan, which lie deep in the mountains, were even more badly damaged.

The PLA has sent helicopters to rescue people because the roads to these townships were blocked by debris.

Aerial footage of disaster zones, video by CCTV.