英伦广角British Vision(118):四川迎来火炬传递

Quake-hit Sichuan welcomes torch 四川迎来火炬传递

Survivors cheer as the Olympic torch passes through quake-devastated Sichuan province in China's southwest.

Reuters.

After months of sadness and loss, China's quake-survivors give the Olympic flame an emotional welcome to Sichuan Province. Crowds roared with delight as 189 torchbearers began a three-day tour of the province devastated by a powerful earthquake in May.

The run here in Guang'an, hometown of communist patriarch Deng Xiaoping, began with a minute's silence in honour of the 70,000 killed in the disaster. The quake delayed the flame's arrival in Sichuan and has made a change of route, bypassing hardest-hit areas like Dujiangyan. Thousands died here and more were left homeless. They watched the relay on TV from tents and temporary shelters, excitement over the Olympics overwhelmed by anxiety over their plight.

"The problem we have now is we're not able to go back to our home and staying here is dangerous. The damage to our home is classified as medium, so we weren't allocated a makeshift house. But we don't feel good staying here, the social order is bad."

This woman's 16-year-old niece was one of hundreds of children killed when their school collapsed in the quake. Nationalist pride over the Olympics is tinged with grief and unresolved questions about who's to blame.

"The children knew about the Games and they were very happy. They'd said they'd watch them on TV. We've lost them now and there's nothing we can do. When I think of them, I still feel very sad."

Mixed emotions as the torch makes its way through Sichuan over the next three days, its last stop before Beijing where the cauldron will be lit and the Games begin on Friday.

Susan Flory, Reuters.

cauldron:A cauldron is a very large, round metal pot used for cooking over a fire. (LITERARY)

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