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No looting of relief goods in NW China's quake zone: official

YUSHU, Qinghai, April 23 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese official Thursday said there had been no looting of quake relief materials in northwestern province of Qinghai and the aid had been distributed to victims in a fair and transparent way.

Geng Yang, director of the Qinghai Provincial Department of Civil Affairs, said sparse looting did happen in the early period of the distribution of the relief materials.

"But this has been promptly stopped by government," Geng said in response to some media reports which also said some individuals in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, hit by a 7.1-magnitude quake on April 14, stockpiled and sold the materials at high prices.

Geng said their own investigations did not discover the alleged misconduct.

He also denied some reports that most tents were given to officials and government workers.

On the contrary, "it is mainly local officials and government employees who have yet received the tents. More than 90 percent of them haven't had the chance of going back home since the earthquake," he said.

Unlike some allegations that the bulk of the relief goods went to local Tibetans, the relief operation had been open and transparent, Geng said.

"The government helps all quake victims, regardless of their nationalities," he said.

To ensure a timely distribution of relief goods while preventing them from being diverted to other areas, Qinghai's civil affairs authorities have set up check points on all roads leading in and out Yushu, Geng said.

They also encouraged the public to supervise the relief operations. A special telephone number has been published for the public to report any misconduct, he said.

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