The smell of death hangs heavy over the once idyllic town of Beichuan , but rescue workers say they will not give up the search for survivors for another week. Although the scale of the rescue effort was scaled down yesterday, teams of workers with special life-seeking equipment and sniffer dogs continued to search methodically through the rubble for signs of life. In the morning a woman was miraculously pulled out alive, 164 hours after the earthquake struck, and a team of Guizhou firemen spent the day with shovels, pick-axes and drills, attempting to dig out a man found alive by imaging equipment. But with temperatures soaring above 30 degrees Celsius, the chances of finding further survivors are minimal. 'If there is only a 1 per cent chance of finding someone alive, we will give 100 per cent - but today is our final hope,' said Deng Shengqun, a People's Liberation Army officer from Kunming , who was helping to direct the digging. Behind him, soldiers dressed in dark-green rubber suits hauled two bodies over a 10-metre-high pile of bricks, broken concrete and twisted metal - an adult and a small child. The nylon bags were placed by the side of the road next to piles of lime used to disinfect decaying corpses. Doctors unzipped another bag to take a DNA graft from a dead man's body. His head was unrecognisable. A bunch of keys still hung from the loop on his jeans. Using a surgical knife and tweezers, the doctors cut deep into his side. With relatives of the dead or living in relief camps out of town, DNA samples will be needed to identify the bodies pulled from the rubble. 'I still feel a deep grief in my heart when I see a fresh corpse,' said Luo Tangfei, a 21 year-old PLA soldier from Yunnan , who said he had never imagined dealing with the biggest disaster to hit China since the Tangshan quake in 1976. Almost all the surviving residents of Beichuan have been evacuated out of the town to make way for the rescue teams, with most now living as refugees in Mianyang , 50km away. Outside Beichuan and on the outskirts of nearby Anxian, blue tents are springing up to accommodate people nearer their old homes. As the focus shifts from rescue to recovery, survivors will have to find a way to rebuild their shattered lives. Yesterday locals began arriving back in Beichuan to pick through the debris in the hope of finding lost belongings. 'I found sheets and blankets,' said one man sweating under a soft bundle strapped to his back. 'I lost four members of my family. You be careful,' he warned.