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Feature: Babies born in tents after fatal quake in Qinghai

2010-04-16 09:40 BJT

Special Report: 7.1-magnitude Quake Hit Qinghai, China |

YUSHU, Qinghai, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Babies have been born in temporary tents in the chilly weather after the fatal quake that has left 760 dead in northwest China's Qinghai Province.

A vibrant cry of a baby burst out at 4:28 p.m. Wedensday from a tent in the hardest-hit Gyegu Town near the epicenter, the seat of the government of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, in southern Qinghai Province.

"It must be the first life that came to the world after the disaster," said a doctor named Huang Changmei.

"The baby brought hope to the ruined place," Huang said.

The 38-year-old pregnant woman named Bora was found at 3 p.m. Wedensday in one of the 100-odd tents on a playground in Gyegu Town and transferred to a medical treatment tent here, said Yang Lin, president of Qinghai Army Reserve Infantry Brigade Hospital who was in charge of coordinating medical work on the playground.

"The conditions were extremely poor here. We lacked of equipments and medicine," Yang said.

The mother was scared by the quake and she failed to have contractions, which was very dangerous to give birth to a baby, Yang said.

"It must be difficult for her. We were all worried," he said.

Doctors gathered at 4 p.m. in the tent, including the director of gynecology department of Lanzhou Military Region General Hospital in Lanzhou City, capital of the neighboring Gansu Province.

The 45-year-old husband named Chado was invited into the tent at 4:10 p.m.. "The wife need to calm down. We need the help of the husband," said a doctor who was not identified.

Eighteen minutes later, the voice of the baby was heard by the crowd waiting outside the tent.

"It's a boy!" said a voice in the tent and then applauses broke out in the crowd.

A young nurse covered the three-kilogram baby with pledget as there no clothes for new-born babies.

"I'm so happy. Thank you, doctors," said Chado with a big smile.

"This is their second child. It was a hard time for them here," said Wang Zongqin, one of the doctors who did the operation.

"It is really good to see they are both safe. I was so nervous," Huang Changmei said.

No baby was born later on the playground as most of the pregnant women had been transferred to Xining, capital of the province, said a doctor of Qinghai University Hospital.

"The conditions are too poor. We cannot let the women deliver babies here any more," said the doctor.

Another two babies were born in the Yushu Prefecture People's Hospital during the first night after the quake, said Han Huiying, president of the hospital.

The two babies were born in the tents in the hospital's yard, She said. The news was told by the night-shift doctors.