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Phone-charging and ATMs in tents at China quake zone

Published: Monday, April 22 2013 10:08 p.m. MDT

People charge their mobile phones at a relief center in the county seat of Lushan in southwestern China's Sichuan province on Monday.   (Associated Press) People charge their mobile phones at a relief center in the county seat of Lushan in southwestern China's Sichuan province on Monday. (Associated Press)

LUSHAN, China — The tent village that sprang up in two days to house quake survivors in mountain-flanked Lushan is no ordinary refugee camp. China's full range of disaster response is on display: trucks with X-ray equipment, phone-charging stations, bank tellers-on-wheels — even a tent for insurance claims.

The efforts under way in mountainous Sichuan province after a quake Saturday that killed at least 192 people showed that the government has continued to hone its disaster reaction — long considered a crucial leadership test in China — since a much more devastating earthquake in 2008, also in Sichuan, and another one in 2010 in the western region of Yushu.

"Lushan was so heavily hit and my family's house toppled. It has been such a disaster for us," said Yue Hejun, 28, as he waited to recharge his family's three mobile phones at a charging stall, volunteered by a communications company and coordinated by the government in a new addition to the arsenal of services after natural disasters. "If we can charge our phones, we are at least able to keep in touch with our family members outside and that helps to set our minds at ease."

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