Water Adds to Worries in China’s Quake-Hit Sichuan

Officials and experts worry that a severe lack of clean drinking water, especially in rural areas, will raise the death toll from the Sichuan earthquake. From Reuters:

There is water everywhere in China’s quake-ravaged Sichuan province, where rain is hampering rescue efforts and reservoirs are pressing against weakened dams.

But for some people there is not a drop to drink.

As rescuers race against time to find people trapped in the rubble of Monday’s earthquake, officials must also worry about supplying water to millions of people living in damaged towns or tent camps.

Water supply to the populous cities of Chengdu and Chongqing was largely unaffected by the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that struck a wide swathe of northern Sichuan on May 12.

But in smaller towns, like Yingxiu near the epicenter, unclean drinking water is a growing problem for locals and for the refugees trekking in from flattened villages up in the mountains.

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