I received this power point from several friends today, all saying how touched they were by the photo essay. I felt the same, too. Here’s are the real heroes. The survivors and victims of the recent earthquake in China. Let us learn something from them. Have a blessed weekend.

24 responses »

  1. Siew Eng says:

    A report that confirms the pix. And tells more.

    Wish the Burmese were as lucky.

    ————————–

    The Economist, UK

    The earthquake in Sichuan
    China helps itself

    May 22nd 2008 | JIANGYOU
    From The Economist print edition
    The government’s relief effort is impressive; even more inspiring is
    what ordinary people are doing to fill the gaps

    Getty Images

    SOME 200 survivors of China’s deadliest earthquake in more than 30
    years line up for a handout of food. It looks good. There is rice
    gruel, braised diced pork, courgettes and hot steamed buns. There are
    also no officials. The Communist Party likes to be seen as society’s
    main benefactor, but this is private aid.

    The party has mobilised its own forces on a huge scale in response to
    the disaster on May 12th in the south-western province of Sichuan,
    which has left more than 74,000 dead or missing, 247,000 injured and
    5m homeless. More than 100,000 troops and police have been deployed to
    help survivors and to rescue people trapped by rubble and landslides.
    Hopes of finding more are fast dwindling. But the scale of
    non-governmental involvement has been just as striking.

    The food handout in Jiangyou, a small city 115km (70 miles) east of
    the epicentre, was being carried out by volunteers from an ad hoc
    group of private catering companies from another province. The
    recipients were refugees from the nearby town of Beichuan, which was
    all but flattened by the earthquake. Their appetising hot meal
    contrasted with the instant noodles and biscuits offered at other food
    stations.

    Even had it wanted to, it would have been difficult for the government
    to keep relief efforts in the hands of its usual instruments: military
    and civilian officials, the Communist Youth League and the Chinese Red
    Cross. The disaster struck at a time of nationalist fervour fuelled by
    a widespread feeling that China was being unfairly criticised for its
    handling of unrest in Tibet. Sentiments were further aroused by
    blanket coverage of the earthquake in the state-controlled media—a
    departure from the party’s usual tongue-tied approach to disasters.

    Responding to the mood, the government declared three days of public
    mourning from May 19th. Disasters do not normally rate such
    attention—the last day of public mourning was 11 years ago, on the
    death of Deng Xiaoping. In Beijing thousands of people gathered in
    Tiananmen Square to observe an official call for three minutes of
    silence. They also, spontaneously, chanted slogans and punched their
    fists in the air, shouting “Come on China!” as police looked on
    warily. In Chengdu, the provincial capital, on May 21st a police car
    shadowed about 100 unofficial relief workers who marched through the
    streets after dark, carrying candles and chanting patriotic slogans.

    A fast-growing middle class with money to spare on travel and, as it
    now seems, on charity, did not wait for official encouragement to help
    out in Sichuan. Thousands of volunteers headed to the disaster zone,
    from businessmen to Christian youth. Their cars, some bedecked with
    flags and slogans, ply the expressway between Chengdu and Jiangyou.

    Hundreds of taxis helped ferry the injured to hospitals in the city.
    At Mianyang, a big city close to Jiangyou, police erected barricades
    on an approach road to a stadium sheltering some 20,000 refugees, to
    prevent its being clogged by volunteer vehicles. A government plea for
    unofficial volunteers to stay away from the disaster zone and
    concentrate instead on activities such as raising money and donating
    blood has fallen on deaf ears.

    The government seems little inclined to deter the volunteers more
    rigorously. It knows that public opinion is mostly on its side. The
    prime minister, Wen Jiabao, appears to have earned considerable kudos
    by rushing to the scene and staying there for five days to direct
    relief operations, at one point in tears.

    Inside the stadium grounds, which are guarded by militia in camouflage
    uniforms, stalls set up by volunteer groups offer the refugees
    services ranging from psychological counselling to the (seemingly more
    popular) charging of mobile-telephone batteries. An American nurse at
    one stall helps doctors examine children. In the town of Shifang,
    south-west of Jiangyou, Buddhist monks say prayers for victims in a
    temple where the government has settled hundreds of refugees.

    The combination of government and volunteer effort appears to have had
    good results. In refugee camps on the periphery of the disaster zone,
    tent areas appear clean and orderly, with adequate supplies of food
    and clean water. There have been no reports of serious outbreaks of
    disease. Most refugees seem in reasonable spirits. Tents, however, are
    a problem. Officials say there are still far from enough proper ones.
    Many refugees are sheltering under makeshift tarpaulin structures.
    Some Chengdu residents, fearing aftershocks, have taken to sleeping in
    tents. Demand has pushed up the cost of a small tent fourfold,
    residents complain, despite government orders to retailers to rein in
    prices of relief-related materials.

    Much of the volunteer effort has involved individuals or small groups.
    China is still wary of large NGOs and has none that is truly
    independent of the government specialising in disaster relief. But in
    recent years the party has begun to acknowledge more openly that there
    may a role for them. Official press coverage of the earthquake,
    although careful to highlight the party’s contributions, has also paid
    rare tribute to the unofficial volunteers.

    The government has been encouraging firms to give more generously to
    worthy causes. From this year it has increased tax incentives for
    corporate donations to charities. But this applies to only a small
    number of government-approved organisations. For the sake of
    earthquake relief the authorities are letting down their guard. But
    the government gives little encouragement to new NGOs and often treats
    the small existing ones as potential germs of political opposition.
    The response to this disaster might ease its fears.
    http://www.economist.com

  2. billauchris says:

    My eyes just well up with tears each time took at the attached photographs that depict the aftermath of the 8.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Sichuan Province a week ago.

    What I am most impressed is the commited leadership of the PRC in co-ordinating the lives-rescuing operations throughout the province. The Army, medical, welfare and other ministries’ personnel have been working for days on end to save lives and move survivors to safer grounds.

    Many foreign countries and international agencies spontaneously respond with generous donations in cash, kind and manpower to help out in the rescue operations.

    The PRC warmly and gratefully welcome aids from all and sundry.

    PRC declared a 3-day national mourning starting last Monday. A 3-minute silence on each day was observed with the national flag flying at half mast throughout PRC and all China Embassies throughout the world for the dead, the injured and the displaced. We share the griefs of the people of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

    We want to let the people of PRC know that we will do whatever we can to provide assistance to rehabitate the people and the reconstruction of the houses, infrastructure and the essential untilities seriously damaged and destroyed by the earthquake.

    The solidarity, commitment and patriotism with which the whole nation rose to the occasion touches the whole world indeed. By your example, you really show to the world the right and moral way in responding to a natural catastrophe or calamity.

    I salute to the President of PRC and his team for showing that they care for the people of PRC and the reconstruction of the affected part(s) of Sichuan Province.

    My family and I pray for your continued good work in saving more lives and providing for the injured, displaced and the bereft. May the God of Heaven bless all the people of PRC.

  3. […] I stumbled across this blog by Susan Loone. The best part of […]

  4. Jong says:

    It’s a very sad day for China.
    The promptness of the Chinese government and the people ‘united as one’ has done so well to overcome this terrible catastrophe, is most admirable. A fine example for the world to emulate.

  5. su says:

    Disasters are sad, devastating. But they also tend to bring out the best out of everyone, be they the victims or the rescuers.

    May God be with them.

  6. hutchrun says:

    The response of the Chinese Govt and its people was a splendid one. Apparently relief efforts started within 15 mins of the Quake. Up to today, there are daily casualties among those involved in the relief effort. Now landslides and floods threaten. Yet doggedly they carry on. It`s great to see the human spirit at work.

    In bolehland it would have been very different. There would be complaints about no uniforms or something like that, while the head chicken would be opening a family member`s nasi kandar restaurant overseas.

  7. hutchrun says:

    BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) — The Ministry of Agriculture said Thursday that it had taken steps to prevent rodent infestations in the wake of last week’s Sichuan earthquake, which could damage crops and spread diseases.

    It said 5.42 million yuan (about 774,300 U.S. dollars) in funding, along with rat poison, pesticides and sprayers, had been delivered to quake-hit areas, which have set up mice control plans.
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-05/23/content_8231916.htm

    Even that they can think of. Good planning – despite the `food basket` of China is badly hit.

  8. hutchrun says:

    Radiation, blocked rivers still issues after China quake
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-05-23-china-quake-radiation_N.htm

  9. Muhibbah says:

    To all Muslim organizations in Malay land called Malaysia,

    Please help those in China for religion should not divide. Where are you when fellow mankind are suffering in Sichuan.

    Why didn’t UMNO, PAS provide any assistance!? Why must it be the Chinese guilds who are doing their part and not the Muslims in PAS or UMNO. Does religion teaches us to divide also?

    The moment something happened in middle East, Malaysia will be the first to the rescue!

  10. I have received slides showing this calamity and I am impressed with the Chinese government response to allevate the sufferings of their people.

    Immediately,a few hundred thousand troops was sent to the disaster area for rescue and relief efforts. Within 2 hours , the Premier of China was there to comfort his people. He again made a trip to the disaster area yesterday. What action of love and concern. Ten of billions of yuan was raised to help the victims.

    When I reflect that if this disaster were to happen in Malaysia how will we response. Will the PM be in a state of slumper and stupor to be able to do anything? What will happen to the millions raised? Are our troops professional enought to handle this kind of disaster?

    I have very little hope that this disaster can be handled ably here when a little project like the NS is so miserably managed and the money wasteful spent or corruptly disappeared.

  11. danet7882 says:

    Malaysia can’t afford to befall with natural disaster, our so call leaders are busy debating ‘orang utan, bogfoot, monkey or watever’ rather than planning the future of our motherland..

    All kind of so called activities are meant for corruption..

    Justice are currupted, official are corrupted, government agency are corrupted, police are corrupted plz give me someone who is not..

    God bless those who suffered in China..

  12. tamade says:

    Wen Jia Bao, the Chinese Premier has set a good example and our Pak Lah, Alltantuya Najis , MBs, CMs have a lot to learn. By the way, the Old Snake Mahafiraun, instead of blasting the Burmese Junta for stopping the international team of rescuers, chose to back him up, what a great shame to Bolehland. What kind of Statesman is this? Snake or Fox? Now this cunning old man, has been playing fire and instigating racial tensions, if the police were unable to use ISA on him and charged him under SEDITION Act, it only proves one thing, the POLICE has been the obedient servants of UMNO and practice double standard. By the way, the RAKYAT’s blood and sweat money feed all of you, man. You are answerable to the Al-mighty, don’t ever forget that.

  13. xtheman says:

    This month being very difficult to Asia. 2 superb ultimate disasters happened in Burma and China. Which is emotional to me whenever i saw and heard the news from both nation. I saw the pictures of children died, Man and women died, the power of mother nature, the people’s heros and millions left in no home.

    First of all, i hope we all Malaysian should help and i really everyone of us can contirbute RM1, we will have 27 millions to be channeled to the people of Burma and Sichuan , help whatever we can !!

    I must say the China’s gov and NGOs have been doing a great jobs in helping the victims, I was touch with the China’s gov premier in responding and dispatching help to the peoples of Sichuan.

    However, I have been really really sad with the things moving in Burma. A very difference story …. pls put aside the politic ….. help the people.

    I pray for all the victims to be strong, you are not alone and god bless you.

    Global warming is a serious issues !! I hope we Malaysian should unite and do more in saving the world !!

  14. billauchris says:

    Muhibbah hit the nail on the head when he observed that muslim organisations in Malaysia are not responding too spontaneously to the call for help in PRC. He questioned whether religion has a part to play in causing the divide among peoples of the world.

    Many NGOs like the Rotary, Lions etc and various religious organisations have donated cash for the relief and rescue operations in China. Mercy, I do know, has responded by rendering help to Myanmar but not much has been reported whether it similarly did the same for PRC.

    Our local media merely sensationalise superfically the two natural disasters that hit Myanmar and PRC. In fact they should help set up a Relief Fund to help donors to channel their money thereto. But instead, I see all the politcal squabbles being reported and they occupy the main pages of the newspapers.

    It is important in moments like this, we need to show that we care and share to help our fellow human beings in distress. By helping others, the recipients will be forever grateful to us and who knows, I am sure they will reciprocate our good gesture when a misfortune hits us.

    Malaysians, do your bit and donate whatever you can through the Bank of C.hina.

  15. kesava says:

    Pakistan, Arabs, Acheh only they help lah. Lain2 bukan dia punya bradder – itu kaffir. Mana boleh tolong.
    Others must help them and pay `jizya`.

  16. wits0 says:

    Mandated by Creed, i.e. :

    “Pakistan, Arabs, Acheh only they help lah. Lain2 bukan dia punya bradder – itu kaffir. Mana boleh tolong.
    Others must help them and pay `jizya`.” – Kesava.

  17. wits0 says:

    I always switch channel when “global warming” or “climate change” is mentioned over Astro. I don’t buy that.

  18. Pegasus says:

    ts a pitiful sight of the SziChuan earthquake,Malaysia could have done more in helping the victims in both China and Burma. They should not be picky and expect only to help the muslim nations, all men and woman are equal in the eye of God but not to the fanatics.
    May God Bless all of them.

  19. hutchrun says:

    I always switch channel when “global warming” or “climate change” is mentioned over Astro. I don’t buy that. wits0

    The cock n bull connoisseurs love it tho. It feeds their `repent the end is nigh` deep seated urges. It`s the loony bin factory at work.

  20. hutchrun says:

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has praised China’s “extraordinary leadership” in dealing with the recent earthquake in Sichuan.

    He was speaking in the badly-hit town of Yingxiu, as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the death toll had passed 60,000 and could rise to 80,000.

    Mr Ban said the UN was ready to provide further support for the relief effort.

    Earlier a Chinese official said 50 sources of radiation were now known to have been buried by the earthquake.
    http://www.shanghaiexpat.com/MDForum-viewtopic-p-872050.phtml

  21. hutchrun says:

    Not only is the UN useless, it`s also pathetic:

    UN to send 220,000 condoms

    BANGKOK: The United Nations will send nearly a quarter of a million condoms into cyclone-hit Myanmar to help needy survivors with no access to contraceptives, a UN official said Tuesday. So far the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) says it has sent 72,800 condoms to survivors struggling to maintain their family planning after the storm hit in early May. A total of 218,400 condoms will be delivered, UNFPA aid advisor Chaiyos Kunanusont told AFP. Flights are also carrying reproductive health kits. afp

  22. ANg Kong says:

    when we lost everything and have nothing and own nothing, this is when the true nature of human beings shows.

    sorry guys, i cant help to shed tears for the sufferings esp the children.

  23. ANg Kong says:

    we should not be divided by the colours of our skin or boundaries of a country. We are all human and bleed the same blood.

    i hope the leaders of the world see through the eyes of the sufferers…..
    a very sad day , indeed a very very sad day for all.

  24. ANg Kong says:

    ‘sorry guys, i cant help to shed tears for the sufferings esp the children’

    should read

    ‘sorry guys, i cant help BUT to shed tears for the sufferings esp the children’

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