Relief efforts in full swing in quake-hit Xinjiang counties


Three days after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake jolted Aksu Prefecture in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, shops and restaurants have gradually reopened while people in resettlement sites have received an ample supply of essential items.

Kuatibek Jumahun, who owns a barbershop in Aksu, told Xinhua that he resumed business on Thursday afternoon, and by Friday he had already served more than 30 customers.

After the earthquake, more than 40 industrial enterprises in the prefecture's Wushi County halted operations to ensure safety. As of Friday, except for one company that is still undergoing safety maintenance, all the other enterprises have resumed normal production.

As of Friday, despite aftershocks in Wushi and neighboring Akqi County, the resettlement sites in the two counties have maintained consistent water, heating and power supply. The local fire, health and power supply departments have ensured the secure functioning of the resettlement sites.

At present, 8,714 people in Wushi and 9,632 people in Akqi are living in the resettlement sites, while safety inspections of their houses are being carried out.

Zeng Jun, a firefighter from Alaer City who was involved in the relief efforts, told Xinhua that upon reaching the earthquake-affected area, they promptly engaged in tasks such as inspecting houses, erecting tents, and assisting the locals in locating their cattle and sheep.

The 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Wushi at 2:09 a.m. Tuesday, leaving 3 people dead and five others injured in Wushi and Akqi. As the outside temperature dropped to minus 13 degrees Celsius around 9 p.m., a resettlement site was built in close proximity to the epicenter in Wushi, with relief supplies and volunteers continuing to pour in.

According to Turak Aishah, a local resident who joined the relief work, there were no casualties in the village. The houses constructed with assistance from the local government demonstrated earthquake resistance. However, to further ensure safety, authorities have mobilized villagers to temporarily relocate to the resettlement site while inspections of their homes are conducted.

"During the tremor, the closet in my home fell, and bowls were shattered on the ground, but the house is intact," said Turak, adding that with so much care and assistance received over the past days, he is confident about returning home soon.

Wang Yongqiang, a volunteer from Urumqi, said that he and his colleagues rushed to Aksu following the earthquake, delivering 34 tonnes of flour and 10 tonnes of salad oil to the affected people just two days after the seismic event.

"I wouldn't have been able to arrange so many supplies in such a short time without people's support. There is a collective desire among everyone to offer help," he added.

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