Wednesday, May 14, 2008

BBC Reports from CHENGDU

• 959 are reported to have died in the provincial capital
• 19 British tourists are reported to be missing in the region
• Australian businessman Les Lothringer in the province told the BBC Chinese buildings are often clad with ceramic materials which would have peeled off during the quake and rained down on those fleeing
A resident of Chengdu, Zhu Tongtong, told the BBC said people were ignoring official advice to return to their homes and that a system of text messaging was being used by the authorities to ask for help.
"There are many people still on the streets. Although the government has asked many of them to go indoors, but many of them are still anxious about the aftershocks. And they prefer to rent a tent and go into the government shelter and sleep in the open space... The government has used their system of mass text messaging and they sent messages to us and asked us to respond if we have any umbrellas because it's raining¿ and they've asked us to give food and water and whatever we can to help people in the countryside," Mr Zhu said.

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