English Version 43
One weak quake during the night and one even weaker this morning. A new grey day has started, but the rain has stopped. When I`m out for a walk down the street I feel how cold it is. People are walking both directions some with water or other nescessities some like me just to kill time.
Most of people in Maoxian are Chang people Xia Wei told me. They are a minority with their own language like the tibetans up north.
Most of the mountain peaks can be seen today and the highest are snow capped. According to the map are the highest which I cannot see from here about 5000 m.
When I`m for a walk down south two helicopters comes by and up through the valley. They`re circling the city and just when I think they`ll disappear they go down behind some houses 8in the meadows. People comes running. Half the city is on the move. Lots are running some even carrying flags. I have to go all the way back to get my camera. So I have to imagine what it looks like when they go down and 6 soldiers with reed scarfs hurry into strategic positions to keep the crowd away. But I can see the military precision at lift off. They`ve waited for two others to arrive which have probably landed somewhere else maybe in Nanxing. When they show the turbines immediately start. And then the match is over and everyone goes home.
Now at 11 o'clock a minor quake during 5 sec. I think the sun will
come through soon. For the first time in China I see some clear blue
sky! And wonderful green and white mountains which rise to impressive
heights. Beside this I`m busy all afternoon talking to students from
different classes. And learn Chinese, but it`s not much you can learn in
At a time a jet plane passes and drops 7 parachute soldiers who land nearby. And later it returns with 8 more. Many cheers and everyone is looking, but what`s the meaning of this "stunt"? What could they bring, that the helicopters couldn`t? But visible they were!
In the evening I have a long conversation with Xia Wei under the influence of a bowl of rice wine (the strong one) and I think I speak too much.
Still NO communication with the outside world. No electricity, no water, no mobile net, no nothing.
Late in the evening a lot of soldiers arrive to help, as far as I understand to dig out a burried bus. Every time I hear "news" the number of dead increases. In Beichuan a mountain should have collapsed and caused a flood that should have killed 16.000? The total number of dead exceeds 20.000?
I`ve been lucky and unlucky. Unlucky to be in this area, lucky to be at the exact position. 20 m`s ahead would have been bad and 20 `s behind also bad.