英语读物:Close-up of China destruction

Close-up of China destruction

聚焦汶川大地震
A close-up look at the damage caused by China's 7.9 magnitude earthquake. John Vause reports from Beichuan

This is what's left after a magnitude 7. 9 earthquake rumbles through a city of more than 20, 000. When the side of the mountain came crashing down, a tidal wave of earth swept everything before it. The pile of wreckage is massive. Survivors make the slow and dangerous climb to the top. Once there, they call out the names of the missing, hoping they'll answer back, but rarely do. This young man's mother has died, she was buried alive when the buildings collapsed. One of the highest peaks in the city of Beichuan is the top of all this dirt, concrete and steel.

"This pile of rubble is probably about five stories tall, it's even higher over there just beyond the destroyed cell phone tower. And just over here is another building which appears to have completely toppled over at right angles."

Cars and trucks were picked up and dumped on top. On the other side of this mountain city, giant boulders came crashing down, smashing buildings from their foundations, flattening cars and people. How close must this person have come to almost making it out alive, killed in the doorway of an apartment building.

Jofen Yin and her brother are looking for her husband.

"This is his photo", she says. Along with a few personal possessions, that's all they find.

There are still survivors, but rescue crews are facing fatigue, and the body bags are being left on the sidewalk, more than a hundred in this street alone.

The longer this rescue operation continues, the less likely the chances of anyone being found alive. In fact here in Beichuan city, there is so much damage, so much destruction that it's unlikely that all the bodies will ever be found, turning this valley into a mass grave.

The Chinese government must soon decide what to do with cities like Beichuan and more importantly for now, what to do with millions of people who are now homeless.

John Vause, CNN, Beichuan, China.

WORDS IN THE NEWS

1. tidal wave : n-count

A tidal wave is a very large wave, often caused by an earthquake, that flows onto the land and destroys things.

2. boulder : n-count

A boulder is a large rounded rock.

3. body bag : n-count

A body bag is a specially designed large plastic bag which is used to carry a dead body away, for example when someone has been killed in a battle or an accident.

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