HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send messages of condolence to Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China and Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China following the recent earthquake that struck Sichuan Province.
In His Majesty’s message to Xi Jinping, His Majesty said he was very saddened to learn of the considerable loss of life and destruction caused by the recent earthquake in Sichuan Province. His Majesty also stated that His Majesty’s Government and the people of Brunei Darussalam joined His Majesty in expressing their deep sorrow and condolences to the people and Government of the People’s Republic of China, particularly to the families that have lost their loved ones as a result of the earthquake.
In the message to Li Keqiang, His Majesty said he was deeply saddened to hear of the recent earthquake that struck Sichuan Province and that His Majesty’s Government and the people of Brunei Darussalam expressed their deepest sympathies and condolences to the people and Government of the People’s Republic of China and the bereaved families of the victims of the earthquake. His Majesty also expressed his confidence that under the guidance of Li Keqiang, China would overcome this difficult time.
Meanwhile Reuters reported that rescuers struggled to reach a remote, rural corner of southwestern China on Sunday as the toll of the dead and missing from the country’s worst earthquake in three years climbed to 208 with almost 1,000 serious injuries.
The 6.6 magnitude quake struck in Lushan county, near the city of Ya’an in the southwestern province of Sichuan, close to where a devastating 7.9 quake hit in May 2008, killing 70,000.
Most of the deaths were concentrated in Lushan, a short drive up the valley from Ya’an, but rescuers’ progress was hampered by the narrowness of the road and landslides, as well as government controls restricting access to avoid traffic jams.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs put the number of dead at 184 and missing at 24, with more than 11,800 injured.
Hundreds of armed police were blocked from using roads that were wrecked by landslides and marched in single file with shovels en route to Baoxing, one of the hardest hit areas.
Xinhua news agency said 18,000 troops were in the area.
The Foreign Ministry thanked foreign governments for offers of help, but said the country was able to cope.
- Borneo Bulletin
(22 April 2013)