I had to create an entirely new category (Environmental Matters) just to accommodate this post and future posts on similar subjects.
Before we continue: I’m not a journalist, the Timelog isn’t a news agency or newspaper, and it has never been my intention to give breaking-news coverage of current events. Look to more reliable sources for that news (hopefully not CNN), and come here for my take. Like I’ve previously stated, I’m not always neutral.
A few days ago, Sichuan province in China suffered a devastating earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale that could be felt throughout a large portion of China. People as far as Beijing and Taipei could feel the ground shaking. (My relatives in Northeast China did not.)
Approximately 32500 people have now died.
A short while ago, I was watching a memorial program hosted on CCTV4, the media channel for overseas Chinese people. It was difficult not to relate emotionally to the event.
But that program demonstrated to me the strength of China and its peoples. Know the following:
- More than 130000 rescue workers have been deployed. Not to mention the hundreds of helicopters, planes, and other military equipment used to get them there. Or the life sensing equipment that has allowed them to rescue and treat as many as 55000 people.
- Donations have at least exceeded $1.3 billion USD. At the end of the program, a large number of representatives from various companies were on stage, each carrying a red card with their donation amounts. Some of those representatives stood for individual donors. In total, the donations showcased on the program exceeded 6 billion yuan.
- Students from the disaster-stricken areas will find it less difficult to get a good education. The minimum marks will be lowered to allow more students to qualify, and certain donors have taken on the burden of paying for these students’ university education.
We must applaud their rescue efforts.
The armed forces had pulled 21,566 people both dead and alive from the debris, treated 34,051 injured people, transferred 205,370 people to safety, airdropped 307 tons of relief supplies and repaired 557 kilometers of damaged roads.
Compare that with the relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina.
These rescuers are as heroic, if not more, than those American volunteers who helped out in the aftermath of September 11. Yet, only 3000 people died in those two towers. This natural disaster has impacted a large portion of China, larger than many European countries.
One of the donors near the end of the program said something that can be translated roughly to the following:
Any loss, if divided by 1.3 billion, is bearable.
Any contribution, if multiplied by 1.3 billion, is an ocean of love.
Donate. A simple word. My family has already contributed to the Canadian Red Cross, though that has left us wondering if we chose the right place to contribute. CCTV4 has provided account numbers for wire transfers, and we feel that might have been a better place.
If every person of Chinese descent contributed an amount, we can all ensure a better future for the survivors of the quake. After all, we amount to one-fifth of the world’s population. (My next post will be about Chinese pride. Maybe a few graphics.)