我们越是前进一点, 所见到的景况越是另人心酸. 今天我们前往九峰地区, 路上经过很多房屋, 很多村庄, 但都被地震震碎了. 不过在这一个人口78万的彭州地区, 只有940人死亡. 写到这里, 我也被自己选词 ‘只有’ 940 人死亡, 吓了一跳. 但无论如何, 以地震的破坏程度看, 这数字的确令到当地政府感到自豪.
这个荒凉. 大雾的山区, 四处都是帐篷. 在其中一处有如蓝海般的帐篷阵之中, 见到一张红布沙发放在帐篷外, 两名妇人在路边用水桶洗衣. 有一队操着步操的士兵操过, 他们将铁铲代替枪枝放在肩上, 操往隔邻村落搭建帐篷. 接下来我们不能再前进了, 这个我们可以看见为何. 前面的渡河桥断成几块, 桥的铁索亦不见了. 于是我们拐个左弯从一个临时通道前往Long Men Shan Zheng. 技术上我们并非进入村落, 塌下的山土令到外人无法入村, 但我们可以到达的地方, 已是村民目前所说的家了. 这个帐篷城住了约800人, 包括200多名小童. 11岁的Yao Xie抱着5个月大的妹妹. 她目前只是上半日学. 她说, 地震时她在学校里, 结果有一个同学在地震中死亡, 她说: ‘当时我哭起来, 想起婆婆.’ 我们谈话时突然又震起来, 虽然只是很小的震, 但我还是跳起来, 不过Yao Xie说她已不惊了, 只是还住在帐篷里, 又没有电, 令她很厌倦. 我们每次和小童谈话时, 他们都说很挂念原来的家.
我们要回头离开. 停车的地方原本是平路, 但现在变成一座小山, 有车身那么高. 再往前走便到了Xin Xing村. 10岁的Xu Peng Su和他的朋友出来迎接我们, 还为我们带路. 他们的学校没有塌下, 不过在数百米以外的地方, 有一间房屋完全崩塌. 其中一位小朋友说: ‘这里有两个人死啦.’ 说时像无动于中的. Su 指着小巷后的庭院, 搭起了很多帐篷, 然后他再指着自己, 告诉我们他们就住在那里. 我问他以前住的家在那里, 他跑前要告诉我, 但是前面什么都没有. 他在一个足球场般大小的瓦砾堆上徘徊, 努力找寻他的故居, 到最后他指着一点说: ‘是这里呀, 这里!’ 但他指的地方其实一点识别也没有. Su 说他不再害怕了, 但他继续说: “我认识的人有些遇难, 我为他们觉得难过. 我们会克服困难, 重新建起自己的房子的.”
他说他很怀念以前家的温暖, 现在很难过. 这里开始见到复元景象, 工人在抢修输电设施. 在 su 家的地点, 有一棵花长出来, 粉红色的花瓣从瓦砾堆中冒出来, 拒绝低头, 正如村民的重建决心.
DAY 6 JIU FENG(重灾区——彭州市龙门山镇九峰村)
The further we drive, the more disturbing the reality. Today we are headed to Jiu Feng… Or “Nine Mountain” area. We pass house after house, and village after village; all flattened by the earthquake. There is only one reassuring fact about the region of Pengzhou. Out of a population of about 780 000 people, only 940 died. Then I catch myself, shocked to be thinking in terms of “only” 940 people. Nevertheless, it is a figure local officials are proud of, considering the scope of the damage.
The bleak, misty, mountain landscape is interspersed with tent cities. At one, a bright red couch sits outside a row of blue tents, and two women wash clothes in buckets at the side of the road. We pass soldiers, marching in lock step, their shovels leaning against their shoulders where guns are typically held, as they head to the next village to build temporary shelters. Soon we can go no further, in the distance I can see why. The bridge over the river hangs in pieces, its span gone. Instead, we take a hard left over a temporary crossing, to Long Men Shan Zheng. Technically we are not in the village, landslides over the road make it impossible to reach, but we are where the villagers call home. A collection of camouflage tents housing about 800 people, including over 200 children. Holding her 5 month old sister in her arms, 11 year old Yao Xie says she has resumed school for half days. She was in school when the quake hit, killing one student, she says “I started to cry and thought about my grandma.” While we chat there is a jolt. it’s a tiny tremour, enough to make me jump but Xie says, she is not scared anymore, just tired after weeks of living in a tent without electricity. Missing home is a common thing among children we talk to everywhere we go.
We turn back, stopping where the road used to be flat, but where there is now a definite hill, the height of a small car. Further along we come to Xin Xing village. 10 year old Xu Peng Su and his friends come to greet us, offering to show us around. Their school still stands, but just a few hundred metres down the road we come across a collapsed house. “This is where two people were buried and died,” one of the children says matter of factly. Su points down an alley to a collection of tents in a courtyard, then points to himself. That’s where he lives now. Where was his house that he lived in before, I ask. He runs ahead eager to show me, but there is nothing to see. He roams a football field size swath of land marked only by piles of rubble trying to determine exactly where his house stood. Finally he picks a spot, “Right here, right here,” he yells, but there is no discernable marker. Su says he is not scared anymore, “but I know people who passed away and I feel very sad for them. We will overcome the earthquake and rebuild our house again.”
He says he misses the warm feeling of home and is sad. There are signs of recovery here. A crew works to restore electricity, and almost on the very spot Su’s house stood, a single flower blooms. Its pink petals rising out of the debris, refusing to be beaten, echoing the determination of the villagers.