An arrangement of stones spelling out “SOS”, along with two Chinese characters reading the same thing, was spotted on the Yingchuang mountainside in Longtaushan Town, Yunnan, as rescue work has not yet reached this zone affected by the deadly 6.5-magnitude earthquake that struck over the weekend, Sina News reports.
The sign was put together by Feng Yuantao, a 14-year-old boy who learned the international distress signal from books, according to the report.
Feng Jimei, who will be giving birth in a month, lost her family in the earthquake and is waiting for assistance along with other residents in the area.
Six out of 17 members of the Luo family living in the Yingchuang hillside were killed in the quake. Remaining family members described pulling out their loved ones from the rubble only to bury them beneath the earth again using only a spade and their bare hands.
Luo Jieyan was working outside the village when the disaster hit, and walked over 30 kilometers to return to the devastation. Although she knew her parents were killed, she burst into tears and fainted upon seeing their bodies.
No food, tents nor assistance have been made available for the residents. The Luo family purchased some rain shelters for 50 people to stay.
Four days after the earthquake, the victims finally had their first full meal, which was prepared outside by their relatives.
The head of the village sent a flag to the villagers to use as a mark for rescue helicopters. No helicopters have yet come.
Luo Jiangfa, a resident of the village, built tents at the mountain foot for his family. Children gathered in front of the TV to watch news about the earthquake.
Luo Jiezhi, a nine-year-old boy in the village, ran away from his collapsing house during the earthquake. His father saved him with his bare hands, but his three-month-old brother died in the disaster.
Luo Yi’an lost his younger son Luo Jiexiang. At present, he worries about the safety of his few donkeys, his only remaining property tied up on the tree next to his collapsed house.
The death toll of the earthquake in Yunnan, a mountainous region prone to such natural disasters, has climbed to nearly 600, CCTV reported today. At least 2,401 more people have been reported as injured as rescuers continue to search for victims beneath the wreckage.
[Images via Sina News]
By Christy Lau