People gather at Tundikhel after an earthquake in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on April 25, 2015. Death toll in Nepal climbed to 711, the country's Home Ministry said Saturday afternoon, hours after a major earthquake struck the country. (Xinhua/Pratap Thapa)
People gather at Tundikhel after an earthquake in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on April 25, 2015. Death toll in Nepal climbed to 711, the country's Home Ministry said Saturday afternoon, hours after a major earthquake struck the country. (Xinhua/Pratap Thapa)

Cheng Pengpeng got up at dawn and walked out of his tent to take one last look at Gyirong, a small town on China-Nepal border that kept him warm and safe after the nightmare of a fatal earthquake.

People gather at Tundikhel after an earthquake in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on April 25, 2015. Death toll in Nepal climbed to 711, the country's Home Ministry said Saturday afternoon, hours after a major earthquake struck the country. (Xinhua/Pratap Thapa)
People gather at Tundikhel after an earthquake in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on April 25, 2015. Death toll in Nepal climbed to 711, the country’s Home Ministry said Saturday afternoon, hours after a major earthquake struck the country. (Xinhua/Pratap Thapa)
On Friday morning, Cheng and his colleagues boarded 15 buses to Xigaze, Tibet’s second largest city, where they would take chartered planes home Saturday.
“This is the most valuable May Day gift I can ever imagine,” said Cheng.
Friday was the Chinese May Day, also known as Workers’ Day, the start of a 3-day public holiday celebrated with spring cleaning and outings.
At 24, he is the youngest of 254 Chinese workers who were stranded at a Chinese contracted hydropower project in Nepal after last Saturday’s 8.1-Magnitude quake.
The quake killed two of his colleagues and caused landslides that blocked roads, leaving the Rasuwagadhi hydroelectric project site in total isolation. The project was contracted to Cheng’s employer, China International Water & Electric Corp.
They were trapped for four days before Chinese military helicopters took them to Gyirong town, where they spent two days in tents and were provided with food.
All the workers were in tears when they were about to leave Gyirong Friday morning. Despite their eagerness to go home, they were reluctant to leave their saviors.
“Thank you so much for saving my life,” said Huang Guiqiu, a woman worker from southwest China’s Sichuan Province, as she shook hands with Yuan Anping, the helicopter pilot who lifted her out of the quake rubble in Nepal.
Huang said her survival from the third major quake in her life — she survived two major quakes in her home province of Sichuan in 2008 and 2014 — was worth celebrating for the May Day holiday.
The workers are heading home, and life goes on for the local Tibetans.
The earthquake almost flattened the Ne Village in the outback of Gyirong town, about 30 km from the Tibet-Nepal border. Of the 25 deaths reported in Tibet, four were in Ne Village.
With their homes destroyed, all the 410 villagers are living in tents.
Village official Tsering Darje was distributing relief supplies to the villagers, and keeping an eye on the children who were running around, playing hide-and-seek in the ruins of damaged buildings.
He kept shouting orders for the children to “stay away from danger” and offered cans of coke as rewards for the obedient. This proved effective, as the children merrily took the treat, sat down on the ground and drank their fill.
Twelve-year-old Butri got a surprise: an old schoolbag her mother retrieved from the rubble of their damaged home. She dusted the dirt off it and got ready for school: class had resumed at the primary school in Gyirong town.
As post-quake rescue went in full swing, the villagers in Ne found a new, solar-energy fueled TV set outside their tents. While the women cooked, men gathered around the TV screen.
They applauded when they saw a Nepalese man was pulled out of the quake ruins alive: he had been trapped for more than 72 hours.
They smiled a hearty smile when they heard rescuers had retrieved an ox alive from the rubble of their homes.
This gave the villagers hope. “We’ll dig the rubble for more food and property tomorrow, and rebuild the greenhouse for vegetables that was destroyed in the quake,” said Tsering Darje. “At any rate, we’ll carry on.” Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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