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Chinese youth more rational with quake-relief aid


14:06, May 03, 2013

BEIJING, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Eager to offer help after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province, young Chinese people have been more rational in aiding relief work efforts, compared with impetuous voluntary deeds of five years ago.

Colorful candles in the shape of the Chinese characters reading "Ya'an Peace" were lit by 400 students to mourn the earthquake victims at east China's Jiangxi Normal University.

Instead of returning back home or rushing to the quake zone, four students from the quake-hit Ya'an City at the university, along with hundreds from Sichuan Province, prayed for peace and advocated online donations among universities.

"Though I miss my family very much, I am afraid of adding extra burden to the rescue work if I go home," said Liu Xiangnan, a student at the university from Ya'an City.

"I do not believe we can help the rescue work without being prepared or having rescue experience," said Li Hongwei, also a student at the university.

Up to now, more than 32,000 yuan (5,145 U.S. dollars) has been donated through Nanchang University in Jiangxi Province.

Deng Mingrui, a 26-year-old doctoral candidate in Sichuan's capital Chengdu, donated blood as he knew of the shortages in quake-hit areas.

Deng told Xinhua that although he lives not far from the quake-hit zone, he chose to stay away.

"Rich people donate money, while we donate blood," said Deng. "Lots of students have come here to donate blood as the donating center is near Sichuan University. I saw 200 ml and 300 ml bags full."

"Rational aid" during post-quake relief work has become a hot topic among Chinese Internet users with more than 220,000 people joining a discussion on China's twitter-like, including celebrities.

People are trying every possible way to help the victims of the April 20 earthquake that hit Lushan County. 8 Road information in quake areas has been forwarded on the Internet. The media and celebrities have called on volunteers not to flock to the quake region in order to avoid blocking already busy phone lines and worsening road congestion.

"Considering the clogged-up roads, please don't rush to the quake area on your own," said Chinese pianist Li Yundi.

Instead of packing their cars with supplies and rushing to the quake area recklessly, many people have prayed for the victims.

Five years ago, a devastating quake stuck Wenchuan in Sichuan Province, which left 87,000 people dead or missing. People rushed to the quake site to offer help. However, it led to disorder, with heavy traffic hindering rescue efforts.

"Within the most important 72 hours after the quake, rescue work should be conducted by professional rescuers and experienced volunteers," said Chinese author Han Han on He volunteered to help with the quake-relief work in Wenchuan but said his assistance proved ineffective.

According to frontline reports from Xinhua at quake-affected Lushan, experienced volunteers have contributed in areas such as psychological counseling, providing medical care and carrying out household surveys to find out what is needed.

"Chinese people are more rational and open when facing disasters, and people have realized that praying is another way to offer help for quake victims," said Wang Hongwei, associate professor with the School of Public Administration and Policy of the Renmin University of China.

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