Click Here to Subscribe For FREE SMS Alerts on Disaster Awareness

Refresher Training of CERT by FOCUS

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

China disaster zone covers area as large as half of England

A local man looks for loved ones amongst the smoldering ruins of Beichuan

(Michael Reynolds/EPA)

A local looks for loved ones amongst Beichuan's smouldering ruins

Imagine half of England, from Lands End to Leicester, wiped out and every resident of Britain's five largest cities homeless, injured or dead. Imagine one in four of the country's schools destroyed – with the children still inside.

This is the extent of the disaster in southwest China. The numbers and figures are so vast as to be almost incomprehensible.

When the 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck last Monday, it turned an area of 65,000 square kilometres, exactly half the size of England, on its head.

It sent the heavy walls of homes, hospitals, shops, workplaces and around 7,000 schools in Sichuan province crashing down on those inside. If the same scale of destruction had happened in Britain, almost one quarter of the country's school buildings would have collapsed.

Ten million people - the equivalent of every single person living in London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool and Leeds - were directly affected, and half of them were left homeless. Around 70,000 people - the entire population of Guildford - have died.

In the aftermath, a legion of rescue workers numbering thousands more than the British Army and an air force more than twice the size of the RAF rushed in to pick up the pieces. But it was not until eight days after the quake that the rescuers were finally able to make their way along the battered roads of Sichuan province to all of the 3,669 affected villages.

The journey to one mountain village of 87 residents, Maliuping, saw 37 landslides over the course of a 32-kilometre trek. The village lay 1,200 metres above sea level, just 144 metres lower than the summit of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain.

More than 37,000 medical staff, a number roughly equal to every family doctor in the UK, are working round the clock to treat the 250,000 injured.

Material and monetary aid has poured in. Donations from China and abroad have topped 10.834 billion yuan, or £795 million. That amounts to the Gross Domestic Product of Sierra Leone.

In the past week, more than 1.78 million items of clothing and 784,000 blankets have been distributed along with almost 274 million tonnes of cooking oil, petrol and diesel – enough oil to keep the whole of the UK going for almost half a year. Factories across the country are working triple shifts to produce an extra three million tents for the homeless.

But the task at hand is just as daunting as the numbers.

The more than 41,000 confirmed dead must be buried, many in mass graves dug into the hillsides and often still unidentified. The more than 30,000 people still missing must be retrieved from the depths of the debris amid a stench so putrid that even the sniffer dogs are struggling. And along with homes, roads and schools, millions of lives must be rebuilt.

I salute you, Chinese brothers and sisters. You are all so brave and strong in facing this huge disaster. Your leaders will not give up. Your rescuers will not give up. Incredibly the trapped will not give up. More lives will be saved. More miracles will happen. Thats d way. Go China,never give up

Lim, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

May the departed rest in peace, may the survivors recover fast.

Leon, tianjin, china

It's a very good article for people in UK to understand how horrible the disaster is. Hopefully more kind people will help those who are suffering in earthquake.

Linda, Lincoln,

Yes.China' stood up!
We Chinese are all doing their best to help the victims.
We will overcome!

gg., Zhejiang, China

Yes,it is the most disastrous demage ever happened in China after our independence. We are all shocked, in deep sorrow.But I believe under the unity of the whole nation, we can overcome this disaster, just like the SASK in 2002.
Come on ,China!

Kim, zhuji, China

For the last two months, this is for me as a chinese a sensible article i come across in this worldly rekowned newspaper.I must say that i was annoyed by the biased reports of some of the western media.Sense and sesibility was a UK trait in Austine time, I hope it could well reflect today's UK trait

shenqi, Beijing,

Sichuan went down, China stood up. For the last 20 years, of all the natural calamities - Katrina, tsunami, Kansai earthquake etc; no government had responded so quickly as the Chinese, no rescuers had given more blood sweat and tears to a shaken region as the Chinese. An impossible task well done.

sunny, Hong Kong SAR, China


Popular Posts

Slide Presentation


Enter a Youtube URL to download:

Powered by KeepHD.com
Custom Search

Daily Green News


blogger templates | Make Money Online