Outdoor media centre helps reporters spread message to the world

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 April, 2013, 4:15am

Chinese and foreign reporters have swarmed to the earthquake's epicentre in Lushan county, preparing to cope with dire conditions as electricity, water and gas have been cut off.

But to their surprise, an outdoor media centre with high-speed internet access has made their job a little easier.

The centre, set up about an hour after the quake hit, enables media workers to transmit reports, pictures and videos.

Generally packed with reporters, the crowd in the centre does not start to thin until around 2am when most reporters try to get some rest.

During the day, there are not enough desks and chairs for the reporters, so many sit on the ground.

Frequent aftershocks, especially on Sunday afternoon when at least a dozen were felt in just a few short hours, prompted reporters to ask, "Again?", as the aftershocks were usually followed by a suspension of electricity or internet access.

"We set it up at 9am on Saturday morning to answer a call by the government to ensure that reporters could file their reports smoothly," said Dan Jiaxiang, a China Telecom network support engineer who has been maintaining the centre for the past three days.

In the wake of the earthquake, there were initially about 10 reporters at the media centre, but the number has risen swiftly and the centre has had to expand to meet demand.

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