More than 200 Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers arrived at Yingxiu township, one of the worst-hit areas near the epicenter of Monday's earthquake that killed more than 12,000 people, at 11:50 am Wednesday.
They are engaged in search and rescue work.
Officer Zhi Liusuo told Xinhua that more than 200 soldiers had arrived at Yingxiu by powerboat as of 12 am and another 400 were expect to arrive before it got dark.
Powerboats were busy bringing soldiers into the town and sending injured villagers out when the reporters arrived.
According to He Biao, deputy secretary-general of the Aba prefectural government, the population of Yingxiu exceeds 10,000.
Only 2,300 people have been confirmed to be alive, and 1,000 of those have sustained serious injuries.
"There is an urgent need for medical staff, medicine, food and drinking water," he said.
The injuries of many people got worse because there were not enough drugs to treat them, said Chen Yi, an official with the Yingxiu township government.
(Xinhua News Agency May 14, 2008)