Xinhua News Agency, Lanzhou, March 4th: The story behind the "life-saving road"

  Xinhua News Agency reporter

  54-year-old Ma Youbu never expected that the Linda Expressway not far from his home, which had only been opened to traffic for 37 days, would become his "life-saving road."

  During the Jishishan earthquake, Ma Youbu, a villager in Chenjia Village, Dahejia Town, Jishishan Baoan Dongxiang Salar Autonomous County, Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, was hit by a falling brick wall and was seriously injured.

After being rescued, the ambulance carried him, who was already in shock, and roared onto the highway. In just over 40 minutes, Ma Youbu was sent to Linxia Prefecture People's Hospital.

  During the operation, half of the box was filled with "blood pimples" removed from Ma Youbu's chest.

The doctor said it was thanks to the timely delivery.

  "If there wasn't this 'lifeline'..." Ma Youbu choked up.

On December 23, 2023, large trucks transported prefabricated houses to the disaster area in Jishishan County.

(Photo by Ma Yujiong)

  Jishishan County is located in the mountains on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In the past, it only relied on a rugged road to communicate with the outside world.

Traveling is difficult and life is even harder.

People have to back up twice to get from the town to the prefecture, which takes six or seven hours.

  Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has attached great importance to the development of ethnic areas and the common prosperity of all ethnic groups.

General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized: “All ethnic groups are members of the big family of the Chinese nation. To get rid of poverty, build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and achieve modernization, no ethnic group can be left behind.”

  In the fight against poverty, Linxia Prefecture, where Jishishan County is located, has been included in the "Three Districts and Three Prefectures" deep poverty areas.

  On March 7, 2019, General Secretary Xi Jinping participated in the review of the Gansu delegation at the Second Session of the 13th National People's Congress.

Dong Caiyun, a deputy to the National People's Congress of the Baoan ethnic group from Jishishan County, told the general secretary: "My hometown does not yet have a highway, and we also want to build a highway to speed up poverty alleviation and prosperity in our hometown."

  General Secretary Xi Jinping responded: “Comrades from all ministries and commissions are here, and we must actively absorb and adopt the representatives’ suggestions.”

  After the meeting, after research and demonstration by all parties, the construction of the expressway that the people of Linxia thought about day and night began.

  Linda Expressway connects the expressway network in the border areas of Gansu and Qinghai provinces, and Jishishan County, which used to be closed, has a "main artery" to the outside world.

  The suggestions of a National People's Congress representative have been implemented, the expectations of a deeply impoverished county have been paved, and the development of an ethnic minority area has accelerated.

  The expressway will be officially opened to traffic on November 12, 2023.

Dong Caiyun came to the scene wearing a red outfit.

She said emotionally: "From now on, the mountains are no longer high, the roads are no longer long, and the people have an 'expressway' to increase their income and become rich!"

  No one expected that more than a month later, at 23:59 on December 18, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake occurred in Jishishan County, affecting more than 50,000 households.

  "In the early morning of the 19th, I saw fire trucks, ambulances, military vehicles, and police cars speeding away with flashing lights, and the Linda Expressway in the dark looked like a giant glowing dragon. I instantly felt that our people were saved!" Dong Caiyun said. .

On December 25, 2023, rescue vehicles were speeding on the Linzhou-Dalian Expressway.

(Photo by Ma Yujiong)

  Wang Quanzhong, political commissar of the Linxia Prefecture Fire Rescue Detachment, said that the Linxia-Dalian Expressway is the "lifeline" for this earthquake relief.

Because of this highway, rescue forces from all parties were able to quickly reach the front line of the disaster area. In less than 15 hours after the earthquake, all search and rescue tasks were completed, and the injured, including Ma Youbu, were promptly transferred for treatment.

  Team after team of large trucks pulling prefab houses came from all over the country, and more than 16,000 prefab houses were quickly built.

It only took 8 days from the time of the earthquake to when all the affected people moved into prefabricated houses.

  According to incomplete statistics, during the emergency rescue period, more than 128,000 pieces of charity supplies from all over the country were continuously transported to the disaster area through the Linda Expressway, ensuring that the affected people did not go hungry, did not freeze, and lived warmly in the winter; The average daily traffic volume on the expressway has surged from the usual 3,500 vehicle trips to a maximum of 16,000 vehicle trips, greatly improving rescue efficiency.

  On January 15, Ma Youbu's injury improved and he was discharged from the hospital.

The ambulance once again passed the Linda Expressway and sent him home.

Along the way, there are undulating mountains and connected bridges and tunnels.

The first tunnel they passed was called the "Sanqi Thanksgiving Tunnel".

  "'Thanksgiving' means to be grateful to the General Secretary and to our party. 'March 7th' is to commemorate the day of March 7, 2019." Ma Youbu's daughter said.

(Reporters Xiang Qingkai, Wu Di, Zhu Gaoxiang, Zhang Qin, Jiang Weichao, Lang Bingbing)