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Qingping is a mountainous village on the outskirts of Mianzhu city in southwest China's Sichuan province. The Hanqing road is the only land passage linking Qingping with the rest of the country. But last Friday's mudslide blocked this vital lifeline.
Reporter Shen Le said, "I'm standing on Qingping road, or what's left of it. The devastating mudslide destroyed everything. Before the road can be fully repaired, the only way to reach QIngping village is by flying."
But air-lifting thousands of victims still trapped in Qingping village is way too slow considering a helicopter's limited capacity.
This is where road workers come in. But the odds are stacked against them. The barrier lake on the upper stream is discharging flood water. Rapid flows often threaten the surface of newly paved roads.
34-year-old Fu Haidong is leading a team 600 road workers. They arrived last Friday shortly after the mudslide engulfed Hanqing road. So far, they have worked non-stop for five days straight.
Fu said, "We rest for 2 to 3 hours a day and live on instant noodles, bread and bottled water."
When duty called, Fu left his wife and young daughter to join the road work. He says his family understand the sacrifice he must make.
Fu said, "I told my family that the SRBG workers never give up. We succeeded in restoring traffic after the 2008 earthquake; we'll do it again this time."
Time is of the essence. Many workers sleep in the heavy trucks and bulldozers they work with during the day, Thanks to their hard work, 13 kilometers of road have been rebuilt. The workers are making their final push towards the remaining 6 kilometers, hoping to restore traffic on Hanqing road by Wednesday.
- Update on Sichuan and Gansu landslides 2010-08-17
- Mudslide kills 5, traps 500 in Sichuan province 2010-08-13
- Landslide hits Hanyuan County in Sichuan, 21 missing 2010-07-27