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 Man Will Conquer Nature: People in Afflicted Area Fight Quake

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Man Will Conquer Nature

People in Afflicted Area Fight Quake

Source: Peking Review, Nos. 32-33, August 9, 1976
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org

    A STRONG earthquake took place in the Tangshan-Fengnan area in eastern Hopei Province of north China at 03:42 hours on July 28. Relatively strong shocks were felt in Tientsin and Peking.
   Figures released by the nation's network of seismological observatories specified the magnitude of the principal shock to be 7.5, with the epicentre at 39.4 degrees north latitude and 118.1 degrees east longitude. Damages of varying degrees were reported in the epicentral region.
   After the quake, our great leader Chairman Mao and the Party Central Committee showed great concern for the people in the afflicted area. The Party Central Committee immediately sent a message of sympathy which was a great encouragement to the people there. The Hopei provincial Party committee, the Tientsin and Peking municipal Party committees and the Party organizations at various levels in the stricken area took emergency measures and led the masses in speedily fighting against the effects of the quake and in taking precautionary measures against possible future shocks. Leading comrades on the Hopei provincial Party committee rushed to the scene at the head of leading members of departments concerned to direct the work. Responsible comrades of the Tangshan prefectural Party committee, the Tangshan city Party committee and People's Liberation Army units stationed in the locality immediately set up command posts to lead the masses in righting the aftereffects of the quake.
   Scientific workers from the state seismological bureau and the Hopei provincial seismological bureau promptly went to the stricken area to conduct on-the-spot observation and keep an eye on developments.
  With soaring revolutionary spirit, the cadres and people of the afflicted Tangshan-Fengnan area are waging a heroic struggle to combat the natural disaster. Contingents of relief and rescue workers from other parts of Hopei Province and from some provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions and units of the People's Liberation Army are carrying out relief work round the clock together with the local people. The whole area is filled with the revolutionary atmosphere of unity in struggle. This fully demonstrates the tremendous superiority of China's socialist system under the dictatorship of the proletariat. It also shows the dauntless spirit of the Chinese people who are armed with Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, have been tempered in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius and are now advancing triumphantly in the struggle j criticize Teng Hsiao-ping and repulse the Right deviationist attempt at reversing correct verdicts.
 Under the guidance of Chairman Mao's revolutionary line, the cadres and workers of the Kailan Coal Mine, the Tangshan Iron and Steel Company, the Tangshan Power Plant, the Tangshan No. 422 Cement Works and other factories and mines energetically helped the afflicted workers and their families and checked the damages 3one to the equipment and workshops so as to restore production as soon as possible. Most of the workers of Kailan who were underground when the quake struck returned safe and sound above ground and many among the masses were out of danger. Not long after the quake, members of the worker-militia of Tangshan were out patrolling the streets.
   The people of Tangshan have displayed fine revolutionary heroism and revolutionary optimism. Members of Party committees at various levels have been in the van throughout the struggle. Many leading cadres of Party committees in the factories, mines and other industrial enterprises hurried to their respective units to direct the work of combating the aftereffects of the quake without so much as taking time to clean themselves of the mud on their bodies or find out what had happened to their own families. Party committee secretary Peng Hung of the Tangshan Power Plant who is nearly 60 fought his way free of debris and rushed to the plant without pausing to see how his aged mother and his children were. Communist Party members pledged that they would live up to their glorious name in these critical moments. They threw themselves into rescue work under the most hazardous circumstances. As soon as he was out of danger, Keng Fu-an, a Communist Party member of the Tangshan Colliery, flung himself into rescue work, with a portrait of Chairman Mao he had cut out of a pictorial in his bosom. His family had suffered casualties but he held back his grief. The workers displayed the spirit of fearing neither difficulties nor death. In order to maintain telephone contact with other parts of the country, seven comrades manning a post and telegraph station on the outskirts of Tangshan refused to go off duty, although their voices were hoarse and their eyes bloodshot and swollen. A safety and rescue team of the Tangshan Colliery set out immediately after they received orders to open up an old ventilation shaft some five kilometres away. But when they got there they found that the electric winch was out of commission. With their hands, and shoulders they used sheer force to open up the heavy doors of the shaft, thereby ensuring the safety of the miners.
   After the earthquake tremors reached Peking, the indomitable urban and rural population plunged into anti-quake work while carrying on with their work and production. Water, electricity, coal and gas supply as well as telecommunications and transport in the city continued as usual. Foodstuff, vegetables and other daily necessities are being supplied without a hitch. The inhabitants have been organized and settled in places of safety. People in the capital took emergency measures and collected, manufactured and sent large quantities of relief materials to the Tangshan-Fengnan area. They also dispatched a power supply equipment repair team and over a dozen medical teams to the afflicted area. Many injured people were rushed from the stricken area to Peking for treatment.
   In Tientsin, which was also affected by the earthquake, the inhabitants remained calm and the city was orderly. Workers lost no time in repairing the damaged buildings and machinery to get production started again.
   When the transmission lines were damaged at the Takang Oilfield, leading members of the oilfield's power plant together with the workers swung into action to restore power supply under dangerous conditions. Within a short time drilling and oil extraction operations got going as usual. Drilling footage and oil output after the earthquake rose step by step. By July 30, that is, two days after the quake, production in the entire oilfield was back to pre-quake level.
   The Tientsin Foodstuff Factory was back working normally 32 hours after the quake, supplying foodstuff to the city and the people of Tangshan. Daily production of biscuits was almost 300 tons, the pre-quake level. The Party branch of the Hsiaochinchuang Production Brigade, a nationally famous advanced unit on the outskirts of Tientsin, called a branch committee meeting right after the earthquake on the morning of July 28 to discuss measures for combating the aftermath of the quake. A meeting of commune members was also held to mobilize them to overcome the difficulties brought on by this serious natural disaster. In two days they top-dressed a huge area under maize and overhauled their drainage and irrigation equipment. On the evening of July 30, the evening political school resumed classes. Men and women, young and old, were filled with tears of gratitude when they studied the message of sympathy from the Party Central Committee. The spare-time cultural propaganda team, beating gongs and drums, rehearsed on the brigade's sports ground new items to boost the morale of the people. A brigade member wrote a poem which reads: "We meet the typhoon without blinking, and stand rock-firm in the big quake Always remembering to take class struggle as the key link. We will paint a lovelier picture on this devastated land of ours." These lines reflect the heroic spirit of the commune members of Hsinnchinchuang and the people of the stricken area.
   Liaoning, Shanghai and many other places are sending an unending stream of personnel, grain, foodstuffs, medicine, tents, timber, cement and other urgently required materials by air, sea and land to the Tangshan-Fengnan area. The people of the afflicted area art deeply moved by the loving concern shown them by Chairman Mao, the Party Central Committee and the people of the whole country. With tears of gratitude, they shouted: "We thank Chairman Mao and the Party Central Committee for their loving concern.” "Long live our great leader Chairman Mao!"'
   Many units of the People's Liberation Army took emergency measures to give all-out assistance to the people of the afflicted area. They rushed to the scene despite the pouring rain. Disregarding fatigue and risking the danger of aftershocks, the commanders and fighters conveyed to the local people the solicitude of Chairman Mao and the Party Central Committee and fought tenaciously side by side with the people day and night. They worked wherever the damage and the danger were the greatest. They did whatever they could to rescue every injured person, helped the masses overcome difficulties and made prompt delivery of relief materials, restored telecommunications, repaired railways, highways and bridges and reinforced the reservoirs.
   Support and assistance pouring in from all quarters have provided favourable conditions for relief work. People in the afflicted area have been given accommodations and the several thousand medical workers who rushed to the seriously affected places in Tangshan have given first aid to the injured. Railways, highways, water and electricity supplies and telecommunications damaged by the quake are being restored step by step.
   Under the loving care of Chairman Mao and the Party Central Committee and with all-out support and assistance from the people throughout the country, the people of the severely hit area are displaying high militant spirit. Workers of the Tangshan Iron and Steel Company have declared: "We are not afraid even if the sky should fall and the earth should crumble. We will not bow even before an avalanche. The bigger the earthquake, the more energetically we will work. We pledge to rebuild our homes through self-reliance." Under the guidance of Chairman Mao's revolutionary line, they are determined to take class struggle as the key link, deepen the great struggle to criticize Teng Hsiao-ping and repulse the Right deviationist attempt at reversing correct verdicts and win victories in combating the effects of quake and in relief work.
  
  
  

 
 
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