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Disaster relief under way in Sichuan

07-22-2010 13:55 BJT

BEIJING, July 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Liao Guizhen, a thin, short, gray-haired woman, looked pained after emerging from her three-story house on Wednesday morning, throwing a huge basket of silt to the street.

"When the water level returned to normal this morning, I returned home with my son and daughter-in-law to remove it," the 71-year-old retired teacher told China Daily.

On Sunday, excessive rain had swelled the upper reaches of the Qujiang River and, as of late Monday night, water levels exceeded 9 meters above the warning level.

By early Wednesday, all that remained was silt.

Liao was one of 230,000 people who were evacuated during the city's biggest flood in more than 160 years.

Most residents returned on Wednesday with the exception of a small number of evacuees from the countryside that remained in tents after their homes were destroyed.

Zhang Mu, a farmer in Muqiao village in Zaoshan was one of them. He said the government had provided food and mineral water for the flood victims.

Liao, too, said officials promised to help after she lost all her appliances.

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