Helping Hands

Photograph for TIME by Ian Teh

Pitching in: Volunteers relay construction materials at a sports stadium in Mianyang that is sheltering displaced quake survivors

The highway leading to Yingxiu, a small town near the epicenter of China's May 12 earthquake, is rent by fissures big enough to swallow a child and is choked with smashed trucks and enormous rocks. Near the town's outskirts, just past a compact car that has been crushed by a boulder, a landslide cuts off the road entirely. A mother, who walked into the mountains beyond to bring out her 12-year-old son, says he has been scarred by what he has seen. The landscape they are leaving behind is hellish, she says: rows of wrecked houses, collapsed schools and...

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