Resolve to build up confidence in triumphing over mudslide

15:28, August 11, 2010      

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"Mountains collapse and rivers burst." The death toll from a recent massive rain-triggered mudslide in Zhouqu country in northwest China's Gansu province has risen to 702, with 1,042 others still missing. For days, hundreds of millions of people across China have been on their minds their brothers and sisters in the Gannan (or Southern Gansu) autonomous prefecture.

This is the gist of a commentator's article that front-pages the People's Daily Overseas Edition Wednesday, which ascribes, among other factors, the leadership of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, the "backbone" role of men and officers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and armed police, the strong support of the socialist system and the tenacity of local people in the mudslide area to an ultimate victory in combating the mudslide.

In the face of the unexpected mudslide, the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, or the central government, has taken this disaster seriously and aroused or mobilized all forces to come to the aid of Zhouqu country. On Tuesday, the members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau made all-round arrangements for rescue operations at an emergency meeting. They request a staunch, tenacious spirit, a more scientific deployment and more powerful, practical measures to be taken, so as to race against time to rescue strained victims; and they also call for all possible means to carry out emergency relief operations. Consequently, a powerful, orderly and efficient rescue and relief operation is currently in full swing on China's northwestern loess plateau.

This is definitely a most arduous and bitter fight, as it has been launched on the long, narrow terrain on a highland zone, and the rescue operations are facing severe challenges however, owing to an acute shortage of materials and backward, inadequate accesses to local transport and communications.

As the rescue operation is arduous, the great confidence and firm belief are very much required; as tougher and harder is the disaster itself and more difficulties involved is the relief effort, the great confidence is all the more needed to overcome the disaster.

People confide in their abilities to triumph over the disaster. This confidence of theirs comes from the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and from an all-out effort of the Party committees and governments at various levels. Shortly after the Zhouqu mudslide occurred, Party General Secretary Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao made important directives, and the State Council immediately formed an emergency rescue headquarters to command relief operation; governments at all levels launched emergency measures in their prime time. The national faith of "taking human beings as the priority" and the sole purpose of administration for the service of people means the strength and source of confidence in defeating the disaster.

People confide in their abilities to triumph over the disaster. This confidence comes from the "backbone," exemplary role of men and officers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and armed police. PLA and armed police officers and soldiers, militia reserve personnel, policemen and firefighters all rushed to Zhouqu for emergency relief operations. They did their tuck rescues in sludge, blast natural barrier lakes formed during the mudslide, rush-repaired roads, went in for relief operation and moved goods in urgent need.… The greenish "battle fatigues" have again become the patron saints to protect victimized locals and the mainstay of rescue operations in the mudslide-hit area.

People confide in their abilities to triumph over the disaster. This confidence comes from the strong support of the socialist system. Things have all been proceeding under a unified command and with great coordination done in a scientific way, either from the emergency build-up of the armed forces and armed police, or rapid response of relevant government ministries and commissions, either from the relief materials deployment on a nationwide scale or even the daily provision of per-capita 150 yuan RMB (22 US dollar) subsidy.

In a matter of only two days, roads were rush-repaired, locals were evacuated and displaced, telecommunications and electric power supply restored, and essential goods moved in an incessant flow. All this has eloquently demonstrated a great social mobilization capacity and an unmatched superiority of the socialist system in China.

People confides in their abilities to triumph over the disaster. This confidence comes from among the masses of people who can never be daunted. The tenacity and indomitable spirit of locals in the mudslide area has helped witness the spiritual force. Relief materials arrive from all places in all directions, and media publicized the donation lists and ways to donate. "When one place is in trouble, assistance will come from all quarters." So, a cohesive force of the great Chinese nation has been once again exhibited vividly, distinctly and to the full.

At the second night after the occurrence of the mudslide in Zhouqu, the county seat was seen dotting with limp lights and smoke curling up overhead in the air above adjacent high grounds.

With such confidence, people can face up challenges calmly, overcome the disaster and cope with whatever scourges, be they devastating earthquakes, deluges and mudslides, and no disaster or hardship can daunt or overpower the heroic Chinese people.

Torrential rain on Saturday night prompted an avalanche of sludge and debris to crash down on the county seat of Zhouqu early next day, ripping many houses of their foundations and tearing multi-story buildings in half. The mud-rock flow has leveled an area of about five kilometers long, 300 meters wide and 5 meters deep in the county seat with more than 2 million cubic meters of mud and rocks, severely damaging the power, telecommunications and water supply facilities.

The tragic 2008 quake in Sichuan province, prolonged dry spells and sustained rainstorms are all believed to have contributed to the massive landslides that virtually leveled much of the mountain-locked Zhouqu country Sunday, experts with the Ministry of Land and Resources have been quoted as saying after on-site evaluations.

By People's Daily Online


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