3 rescued, 5 days after China quake killed 2,000 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

3 rescued, 5 days after China quake killed 2,000

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Earthquake survivors are transported to a camp set up for quake victims in earthquake-hit Yushu county, northwest China's Qinghai province, Monday, April 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) Earthquake survivors are transported to a camp set up for quake victims in earthquake-hit Yushu county, northwest China's Qinghai province, Monday, April 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

JIEGU, China (AP) — Rescuers pulled three people alive from the rubble Monday, five days after an earthquake killed nearly 2,000 people in a Tibetan region of western China. Aid convoys clogged the main road into the remote mountainous area.

China Central Television said a 4-year-old girl and an elderly woman had been trapped since Wednesday under a bed in a collapsed mud house in a village about 13 miles (20 kilometers) from the hardest-hit town of Jiegu, until rescuers dug them out Monday morning.

Relatives kept Wujian Cuomao, 68, and Cairen Baji alive by sending them food and water through gaps in the rubble with the help of bamboo poles, state broadcaster CCTV said. The report showed a team of rescuers lifting the white-haired woman onto a stretcher, throwing a thick blanket over her and putting her in an ambulance. The child was seen wrapped in a blanket in the arms of a rescuer.

CCTV gave few details of the survivors' conditions, saying only that the woman's life was not in danger while the child suffered no injuries.

Also Monday, rescuers freed a Tibetan woman named Ritu from her toppled house on a hillside, CCTV said. Half her body had been trapped by the debris, the report said, but her vital signs were stable.

The death toll from the quake in Qinghai province climbed to 1,944, the official Xinhua News Agency said Monday. More than 12,100 people were hurt. At least 1,100 bodies were cremated or buried by Saturday, according to the provincial civil affairs department.

In Jiegu, thousands of Tibetan Buddhist monks picked at rubble with shovels, performing funeral rites and throwing food to survivors from the backs of trucks. Most of the work in town, however, has shifted from rescue to rebuilding, as search teams left Monday. Temperatures in the elevated area can hit lows of around 27 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 3 degrees Celsius), making the tens of thousands left homeless a major concern.

Convoys of military supply trucks were at a standstill, backed up for miles (kilometers) on the main road heading into town. At a supply depot set up on the town's edge, huge stacks of bottled water were piled up outside a warehouse. More relief goods rumbled past mountainside hamlets where residents pitched government-provided tents along a two-lane highway that is the only connection between Jiegu and the provincial capital of Xining, the nearest big city.

Bedraggled survivors streamed from their tents and chased the trucks, the women scooping bread rolls and packets of instant noodles into the aprons of their traditional fur-lined robes.

Army trucks sprayed water on roads to reduce dust, and mobile toilets arrived — just in time as the spread of disease was becoming a concern after more than five days without running water.

The surge in aid came as President Hu Jintao, who visited the area Sunday, promised that the Communist Party and the government was doing everything they could to help the remote Tibetan region, where residents have frequently chafed under Chinese rule. Tibetan anger over political and religious restrictions and perceived economic exploitation by the majority Han Chinese have sometimes erupted in violence.

In a sign of tensions, Jia Qinglin, China's top parliamentary adviser and the Communist Party's No. 4 ranking leader, warned at a meeting Monday of "hostile forces from abroad working to cause disruptions and sabotage" to the disaster-relief effort, CCTV reported.

Jia did not mention any specific individuals. The Chinese government often refers to supporters of the Dalai Lama and advocates of Tibetan independence as "hostile forces." The exiled spiritual leader on Saturday said he'd like to visit the quake site, though he has not returned to China since he fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. China is unlikely to allow a visit.

In Jiegu, classes resumed at Yushi No. 3 Elementary School, with hundreds of students taking lessons in classrooms set up in tents. Most wore the blue-and-white school uniforms they had on when their classrooms collapsed on Wednesday.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that at least 66 children and 10 teachers died, but that total was likely to climb as more remained missing.

The children trooped into the tents filled with small wooden desks and chairs salvaged from the rubble.

"Confidence! Hope!" the children chanted, led by volunteers from Beijing who had organized the temporary classrooms and were planning to build permanent ones.

"On the one hand, students are coming back to resume classes. On the other hand, we are giving the students some psychological treatment after the disaster," said Danzeng Jiangcuo, a sixth-grade math teacher. "We are trying to help them forget the disaster and not feel scared anymore."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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