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Commentary: Quake-hit China grows in pain


21:05, April 22, 2013

BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) -- A path marking the painful growth of the Chinese nation is clear as the country has been hit hard by two deadly earthquakes in five years and lessons have been learned the hard way.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake jolted Lushan County of Ya'an City, Sichuan Province, on Saturday, leaving at least 188 people dead and 25 missing as of 2 p.m. Monday. It reminded people of an 8.0-magnitude quake that hit Wenchuan County, 85 km away from Lushan in southwest China, on May 12, 2008, killing nearly 70,000 people.

The principle of sparing no efforts to save lives cannot be more stressed. No minute or even second should be delayed during the "golden rescue period" in the first 72 hours after the quake.

Experience gained from the 2008 Wenchuan quake has been immediately shared in the current relief work. Emergency response was initiated within one hour after Saturday's quake. Premier Li Keqiang set off for the disaster area five hours after the quake.

The nation showed its strength as volunteers went to the epicenter in self-organized groups and store owners handed out food to survivors.

China once again faced challenges posed by a strong earthquake. However, the calmer and more rational relief work has reflected the country's economic and social progress.

Compared with the quake relief work of five years ago, rescuers this time commanded more advanced equipment, such as helicopters, transport planes, unmanned planes, the Beidou Navigation Satellite System and life detection instruments, which has assisted the relief work.

A scientific and efficient disaster relief command has enabled the armed forces and medical staff to rush to the disaster-hit area at full speed.

The release of information was quicker and more transparent after the Lushan quake as the first batch of remote sensing observation data was transmitted to the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth Saturday afternoon.

Domestic media and the Internet kept updating the latest quake-related coverage, and news conferences were organized efficiently so as to prevent social panic and allow relief goods to be quickly sent to the needy.

More people resorted to Internet-based media tools, such as Tencent's Weixin, an instant messaging cellphone software, or Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, for personalized information about the quake or to search for their missing relatives and friends.

Those who started or spread quake-related rumors on the Internet were soon discovered and condemned by netizens.

People's disaster relief awareness has been more rational as they have gained experience in dealing with such events. Volunteers, tourists and others not trained as rescuers were asked to stay out of the disaster area, according to a State Council circular.

The "golden rescue period" of the first 72 hours after the quake is ending. Although there has been not enough time for more reflections on lessons learned from the Lushan quake relief, we have reason to believe, with stronger national spirit, China will be more mature to endure the painful growth.

Related Reading:

Chinese Premier: Rescue every person

Premier Li Keqiang gives light of hope and confidence to quake victims as he leads rescue work, comforts survivors and asks for every home to be checked.

Central government requires orderly quake rescue

The State Council General Office has urged relevant authorities and rescue forces to carry out the quake relief work in an orderly manner.

Ministry calls for quake donations transparency

China's Ministry of Civil Affairs on Monday asked charity groups to regulate donations intended for the area of southwest China rocked by Saturday's deadly earthquake, calling for transparency and social supervision.

Roads open to rescue vehicles only

All vehicles not involved in rescue efforts have been banned from using roads in the quake zone area in Sichuan provicne to help people still trapped.

Market unlikely to be affected by SW China quake

The stock market is not likely to slump on Monday because of Saturday's magnitude-7 earthquake in Ya'an, Sichuan province.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangBeibei、Liang Jun)

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Ming Chu USA at 2013-04-2569.107.109.*
Sichuan and Yunnan , because of the frequent earthquakes in these 2 provinces , should be set up permanently by the government for instant relief aid whenever the earthquake strikes the provinces . Even the houses and the buildings should be construction for an earthquake readiness . Let the buildings collapsing , not bury the occupants . panels , etc. Lots of them on the exterior should be used . . . . . .whatever you do not need to build in these 2 provinces is tall buildings .

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