Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Lushan quake prompts disaster preparedness discussion


08:02, April 28, 2013

BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Experts are urging the government to create more effective measures to promote public preparedness in the event of a natural disaster in the aftermath of the Lushan earthquake.

"Years of research show that self-rescues have a significant role in saving lives when natural disasters occur. Ninety percent of survivors are saved by themselves or fellow victims," said Wang Shaoyu, a public security planning and risk management expert at the Harbin Institute of Technology.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Lushan County in southwest China's Sichuan Province on April 20, leaving at least 196 people dead and tens of thousands injured.

More than 30,000 rescue and relief workers were dispatched to quake-hit areas, rescuing 475 people.

In Baoxing County's Lingguan Township, which was cut off from rescuers for 33 hours due to obstructed roads, local residents used shovels and pickaxes to rescue two survivors within three hours. When rescuers did manage to arrive at the township, rescue efforts had already been completed.

Liu Xuancai, a deputy squadron leader from the fire department of the city of Ya'an, said each of the city's six counties and two districs have professional rescue squads to respond to disasters immediately.

"Most residents of Taiping Township know that they should not return to their damaged homes to collect their belongings, but should stay out in the open," Liu said.

"The government has improved disaster preparedness and enhanced citizens' ability to rescue themselves since the devastating Wenchuan quake in 2008," said Qu Guosheng, vice president of the International Emergency Management Society.

However, researchers say there are many areas for improvement in terms of disaster preparedness.

"Even with years of practice and experience, the public's awareness of self-protection varies greatly," said Li Chang'an, a professor of earth science at the China University of Geosciences.

After the 2008 quake, which occurred in Sichuan's Wenchuan County, risk prevention and disaster reduction training became compulsory in local schools. Emergency evacuation, fire prevention and earthquake rescue exercises are regularly held in schools.

During the Lushan quake, 3,800 students at the Mingshan First Middle School escaped safely with no injuries.

However, students at the Lushan Middle School reacted in a more disorganized manner as a result of differing disaster preparedness training.

Li said disaster preparedness and first aid training should be compulsory not only in Sichuan, but around the country.

"If a devastating earthquake happened in Yunnan, Xinjiang or the North China Plain, I doubt residents there could respond and reduce its impact as quickly as Sichuan's people did," Li said.

Experts are urging the government to create a system that can help people in different areas to cope with different natural disasters.

"China's southeast coast is vulnerable to typhoons and floods, while the west is more likely to suffer landslides and earthquakes. People should know how to protect themselves under different circumstances," said Qu.

He said police officers, school principals and company managers should all be trained as "first responders."

Netizens have been busy posting articles online detailing methods for escaping earthquakes since the Lushan earthquake occurred. However, some of the articles are incorrect or misleading.

Qu said the government should establish professional institutions that can offer training courses and promote disaster preparedness knowledge.

"People can only learn the skills they need to survive and stay calm during disasters by participating in repeated drills," Qu said.

Touching moments:

Daily life of quake victims in Sichuan

High school students prepare for exam in tent

Rescuers struggling to reach every household

Soldiers bring hope to earthquake-hit region

First night after deadly earthquake

Rescuers work hard at quake-hit area in Sichuan

>>>Quake-hit China grows in pain

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.

>>>Pilot cancels wedding to participate in quake relief

When the 7.0-magnitude quake happened, Zhang Shangnian, a pilot from an aviation brigade of Chengdu Military Region, was about to hold his wedding.

>>>Nurse returns to work after losing mother

Just likes other medical staff, she was busy with rescuing people injured in the earthquake in SW China, but no one knew her mother just died in the quake.

>>>Wedding ceremony without bridegroom held on schedule

Zhuo Jia, the bridegroom, is a solider of the Chengdu Military Region; he had to leave his beautiful bride behind to participate in earthquake relief.

>>>An injured girl's smile moves many

"Your smile makes the entire world beautiful,” a photo of a smiling girl with bandage on her head has moved so many Chinese netizens.

>>>Teenager saves mom with his bare hands

The mother moves away a precast slab weighing over 50 kilograms alone to save her son in the earthquake. She said she did not know where her strength came from.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:GaoYinan、Chen Lidan)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Canadian submarine "Victoria"

  2. Army aviation base opens to U.S. officer

  3. Palestinian protesters clash with soldiers

  4. Shaolin monk doctors assist quake victims

  5. Heavy rain affects traffic in S China

  6. Meeting a telephone operator girl

  7. Charming scenery in E China's Anhui Province

  8. Brightly-colored fungi

  9. Show presents more than autos

  10. China's CAS to buy 60 Airbus planes

Most Popular


  1. Why does U.S. officials visit China in succession?
  2. What does China’s development mean to world?
  3. Pioneers from the BRICS build new advantages as they go global
  4. Looking forward to higher level of Sino-French ties
  5. Domestic dairy firms have lost credibility
  6. Lax food hygiene leaves bad taste
  7. Urbanization to fuel China's economic growth

What’s happening in China

Heavy rain affects traffic in S China

  1. Forest fire in SW China's Yunnan under control
  2. Details revealed on violent clash in Xinjiang
  3. No H7N9 virus found in poultry farm samples
  4. Number of illegal fundraising cases rises
  5. Quake warning system in the works