May 15th, 2008
05:55 PM ET

China Quake: Children at the epicenter

CNN's John Vause reports on the heartbreaking task of looking for survivors of China's big earthquake.
CNN's John Vause reports on the heartbreaking task of looking for survivors of China's big earthquake.

David M. Reisner
360° Digital Producer

Hey Bloggers,

Wanted to update you on the latest rescue efforts in southwest China after the massive earthquake three days ago. The government says the death toll could rise from nearly 20,000 now to more than 50,000.

More soldiers scrambled to the hardest-hit areas, using 110 helicopters. More than 2,000 medical workers have moved to the region.

Parents are waiting at destroyed schools, hoping their children will be pulled alive from the debris.

CNN's John Vause reached the epicenter, and describes his journey here:

Audio report: click here
video update: click here
Blog dispatch: (see below)

Today we were stopped at a checkpoint about 18 miles from Beichuan county... the road was reserved for emergency vehicles. So we set out on foot... our cameraman took a motor bike with gear, a colleague and I continued to walk..

A few miles in we hitched a ride with a dump truck picking up anyone on the side of the road...

He stopped about six miles in... We walked again, maybe a mile, flagged down a motorcycle cab (bike with tray attached to the back)... He took us another six miles... Then we jumped another pickup, crowded with refugees.

When we reached the outskirts of the city, we caught up with our cameraman... But the area was closed to foreign reporters.

So we went off road, around the checkpoint, walking through crops and mud.. The road had been closed by a massive landslide, preventing earth-moving equipment from getting in...

So we marched through the hills, it was tough going for about an hour and half... Then we reached downtown.. to the center of disaster.


Filed under: China Earthquake • John Vause
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    In response to Cassie, although I have not seen the report, I do know that this one child policy is tremendously devastating for a family to lose their only child since many of them cannot have another due to age. After my mom lost my brother, she wishes she had 3 children instead of 2. Having additional children certainly doesn't replace those lost but at least the family can be rebuilt again. My condolences are your loss Cassie.

    May 16, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  2. Dave

    When i see what has happend in china it hard to even think off the pain these people are going through and I think off all the different places that people have gone throught this hell all over the world every week our earth is killing us has mother earth started war
    or did we start the war every time the earth shows us its power we lose and it seems to getting more power the earth is fighting back and it is stronger than we are
    and we need it more than it needs us I swear the poeple off this place called earth need to think the damage is going to get worse and one day if we don,t watch it the earth will win just start all over

    May 16, 2008 at 5:31 am |
  3. Jane, Detroit, MI

    We as Americans have a lesson to be learned here. How long did it take for the American government to rescue the survivors during Hurricane Katrina, or 9/11 in New York, or the '89 San Francisco quake? China has done remarkably well in responding to this terrible disaster, and America should follow suit in learning how to take care of it's own as well as the Chinese.

    May 16, 2008 at 1:54 am |
  4. Ashley Meilleur

    Hi there. My name is Ashley. After hearing the story of the tradegy in China today I couldn’t help but get emotional and overwhelmed at how I can help. I am wondering if anyone knows what they will do about the destroyed city. Will they re-build? I know it’s reported that there is approx. $20 billion in damages irreplaceable by insurance. I am extremely interested and motivated in helping the city of Juyuan and others effected, get there feet back on the ground. I have secured idea’s such as penny jars, fundraising options, building social sites to raise awareness and donations, contacting local businesses on the issue in hopes of donations, creating a charity group to develop more ideas on how to raise money, and so on so forth. I know that the little bit of money I could raise all the way here in Canada may not help all those families, but it’s a start. I am currently running a charity raising money for certain charitable causes I belive in, by collecting cans and giving 100% of the deposit collected from them. I am willing to offer it ALL to China as well. What I am basically requesting is more information or where I can go to get more information on helping. If it’s needed, whom to speak to in getting funds over there. All that kind of stuff. I realize you may not be able to provide these answers, however it seems no one else but CNN are interested or concerned about this topic. If anyone out there has any ideas or suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them. Thank you so much for your time.


    May 16, 2008 at 12:23 am |
  5. Barbara-Dalton Ga

    I watched the update on the recuse tonight. There are no words
    that can describe the loss that those families are having to endure.
    I don't know what I would do if something happened to my child.
    My heart and prayers go out to the people of China and also to

    May 15, 2008 at 11:48 pm |
  6. Jeanine

    Anderson, Why are these politicians that we elected to represent us so hard hearted. I don't think they really give a damn about anyone's live except their own. It sickens me that all they talk about is theirselves. And I think it is time that they realize that we are all sick of their self-centered attitudes. Do they really think we believe them? I don't anymore. Where do we go from here?

    May 15, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  7. ophelia/FL

    What has happened to China is so sad, I can't even register it in my mind.. May God be with all of the greaving family's.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  8. AL Ed

    I want to express my deepest sympathy to those who are affected directly or indirectly by the quake in China and to all those people in Myanmar who were affected by the cyclone. However I would like to know why our government is so swift respond to other nations in crises even when they don’t appreciate our help. Whenever we have a disaster in our own back yard it takes FEMA quite some time to get to our own people, for example the Katrina victims In New Orleans it took our government a whole week before any major help was deployed hmmm… I wonder why? Just maybe that’s why we need to give Obama a chance because I think before he deploys our troops to other countries in of harms way he will make sure the needs of the people of America be met.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  9. seah ohio

    Such a terrible shame, this happened. With one child laws in china it is more devastating that we could ever imagine.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  10. Annie Kate

    So much destruction – it is so sad that parents still do not know if their children are alive or dead at that school. How long can a person survive trapped like that? I hope for the best for them and the rest of the people in the earthquake area.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 15, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  11. Cassie

    CNN's report "Parent's Losses Compounded By China's One-child Policy" by Kyung Lah is wrong and immoral. CNN should pull it.

    Having lost both my children, losing a child is devastating. Having another child does not make it easier to bare nor, as with my second child, does losing your only child hurt more. Losing a child, any child, rips your soul apart.

    It is immoral to use someone else's loss to forward a political opinion – which is what Lah's "report" does. CNN should not publish such material.

    May 15, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  12. Luis M

    Well, according to Rev. Wright and Hagee this problem happened because, of how the Chinese government is treating the monks and the people of their country. And God D***ed the people. Well, I say that we as country, if possible would send help and supplies, I know that there are some us United States citizens would say no way. God help the poor, God help the needy, the sick, Please , Please God help them. The Chinese People.

    May 15, 2008 at 8:35 pm |
  13. Ruby Coria, LA., CA.

    John, you are doing a great job in such awful conditions..and it seems that with everyday that goes by is worst..prays with you all.

    May 15, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  14. Seriously

    I don't know about the rest of the world, but I'm scared. Everything on this planet is beginning to deteriorate. The earth is cracking and shaking, flooding, and the 10 hour cyclone, is a sure sign that the earth is being overworked. The weather in NY reminds of California weather. Warm in the day cold at night. I tell you folks, it's not about this campaign that's happening or the next Hollywood celeb event, it's about our earth, and how we are destroying it. You know the saying, "live by sword, ....."

    May 15, 2008 at 6:58 pm |
  15. Cindy

    It is so sad seeing all of that destruction there in China. What is even worse is seeing those parents waiting for any sign of their children by the school and then seeing the mom who saw her daughter being pulled from the rubble. That has to be the worst thing ever for her! I hope that more people can be found alive and they can all get the help that they need.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:36 pm |