|Very, very sad. A small-scale version of the disaster in Burma that isn't being covered by the media because of access problems.
Frightened residents of Juyuan were sheltering from the driving rain under plastic sheeting. One family huddled together for warmth beside the ruins of their home. Chunks of concrete lay scattered around the metal chairs where they sat wrapped in quilts against the chill rain.
Without power, survivors were living on bread and packets of biscuits, unable to light a fire to boil water or cook because of the rain.
Their patience was beginning to snap. “This is the fault of the Government,” a bystander said angrily as he watched rescuers sift through the rubble of the school. “They were too slow. Look, it’s already 30 hours or more since the earthquake and our children are still lying in there.”
Another man, who had come to search for his nephew, was outraged by the shoddy building work that helped to topple the school. “Look at all the buildings around. They were the same height but why did the school fall down? It’s because the contractors want to make a profit from our children. They cut corners. They use poor-quality cement. And the Government turns a blind eye.
“These buildings just weren’t made for that powerful a quake. Some don’t even meet the basic specifications,” said Dai Jun, a structural engineer surveying the damage.
Lining the side of the road, several families had stretched sheets of white, red and blue plastic over wooden poles. “I hope the Government can give us a tent soon,” said one middle-aged man. “How can I keep my family warm and dry like this?”