China’s earthquake survivors mourn the dead in freezing temps

Ma and other members of his extended family survived despite extensive damage to their house in Yangwa, a village in Gansu province. His father pulled Ma’s son, whose back was injured, out of the rubble. His uncle said they heard the earthquake and then the house started collapsing.

“We crawled out in fear,” the uncle, Ma Chengming, said.

About 80,000 people have been resettled in Gansu, a provincial official said at a Wednesday news conference. Many spent the night in relief tents delivered to the area as temperatures plunged well below freezing.

To the north, searchers in Qinghai were looking for 16 people missing in an area where landslides had slammed into houses, according to state media. That total was down from 20 on Tuesday. The death toll in the province ticked up by four to 18, but there was no immediate confirmation if the four no longer missing in the landslides had been found dead.

In Gansu, officials said at the news conference that the search and rescue effort had basically been completed by mid-afternoon Tuesday. The province’s death toll remained unchanged at 113 and the number of injured rose to 782. Together with 198 in Qinghai, that brought the total injured close to 1,000.