Sichuan Earthquake Update

Help the Earthquake Children to Recover

Archive for May 19th, 2008

A mom’s power

Monday, May 19th, 2008

- Translated from Chinese by Candice Zhou

When the rescue team found her, she was already dead, crushed by the collapsing building. Through the gap of a pile of rubble, the resucers saw her in a strang kneeing position, upper body bending forward, two arms stretching to support the body, as if in an ancient ceremony. The rescuers shouted toward the debris, tapped on the bricks. No response. They moved on.

The team leader suddenly realised something. He rushed back. “Come! Come!”, shouted he. He moved closer to her, stretched to reach underneath her upper body. After trying several times, he shouted, “There is someone! There is a child! Alive!”

After while they managed to remove the rubble on top of her. Underneatch her chest, protected by her arms and legs, was this baby, wrapped in a red quilt with yellow flower spots, only 3 or 4 months old, sleeping, uninjuried.

A doctor came to examine the baby. Unfolding the quilt, a mobile phone dropped out. On the screen, there was a text message, “My dear baby, if you survive, remember I love you.”

The doctor, who had seen too many terrible things in the last few days, bursted into tears. The phone was carefully passed around the rescuers, when the tears flow.

Dance of death up and down the mountains

Monday, May 19th, 2008

By Fu Jing
Updated: 2008-05-19 07:29

Working close to the epicenter of last Monday’s Wenchuan earthquake for nearly a week, I, a Sichuan native, cannot help mulling over how nature has challenged us to overcome the toughest circumstances.
What was the great disaster really like? The locals have their own ways to describe the moment when the quake struck.
Peng Shuihe, 38-year-old miner, started to stride through the 1,000-meter-long tunnel in the high-altitude mountains of Shifang shortly after the devastating earthquake. Describing his ordeal, he said: “The landslides and falling stones lasted for a day and night in the valleys and the noises they made were like bursting fireworks during Spring Festival.”
Luckily, the mud did not close the entrance of the tunnel. Peng survived and stayed with mounting fears at the foot of the mountains for two days before the rescuers reached him and his fellow-workers.
Wei Yin, aged 14, said her classroom in a three-storied building at Hongbei town of Shifang “fell in a grey smoke” within seconds, burying the majority of her schoolmates.
On the plains, experienced driver Yu Dengyun put the quake like this: “The ground became like chopping water in the sea and I was scared that the water might swallow my car.”
When the earthquake took place at 2:28 pm last Monday, I was in a taxi in Beijing and did not feel it. On the second day I was sent to my home province to cover the disaster. Driving and walking along the death zones and bumpy roads, I found that the bridges had broken down, railways twisted and towns and villages had turned to rubble.
The scenes, which filled me with tears of sorrow, engraved the details in my mind.
Graduating from a young reporter to a career journalist, I have from time to time been covering disasters such as floods, environmental pollution in coalmines and mine blasts. In the winter of 2005, I rushed to cover a coalmine blast, which claimed the lives of up to 200 miners in the tunnels in Heilongjiang province, Northeast China. Watching rescuers digging out the dead and their families reduced to desperation and misery, I was praying: there should be no more such stories, though I knew that disaster scenes are battlefields for journalists.
But I have long been wrong. Both in China and abroad, disasters come one after another. And here in my home Sichuan, the loss is immense. The death toll in a single building, workshop, community or village can surpass the number of the dead and injured I witnessed in the coal mine blast in Northeast China.
Miracles of life come one after another. I felt a little relieved on Saturday as I met two survivors along the valleys in mountainous regions of Shifang who had been buried in the ruins for five days.
But Saturday was also a sad day for me. Three of our China Daily reporters braved the danger of landsides to drive across a 100-meter-long bridge to the isolated Jinhua town of Mianzhu. We found that rescuers with life detectors reached the one-kilometer-long town five days after the deadly earthquake.
The rescuers told me in the late afternoon that there were no signs of life in the five sites mentioned by locals, although in the morning, a man cried out in a weak voice from the black debris, saying “I can hold on”.
The town is in the high mountains and linked by twisted railway and road bridges, which might put rescuers in danger if they happened to be caught by strong aftershocks. And several local officials in the town died in the earthquake and so the organization of disaster relief was in disorder.
The 51-year-old He Zhangju of the town guided me to a big hole in the field just 50 meters away from his ruined home. The hole was caused by a stone falling from the 2,000 meter-high mountains. The stone was nowhere to be seen when I arrived there.
“Before the quake and its aftermaths such as landslides, we are powerless,” she said. But she further complained: “But we can have the rescue efforts started earlier.”
I fully understood her.
But the quake was extremely strong and devastating and covered massive lands in Sichuan and even neighboring provinces. It takes time to mobilize resources. For those who have not been at the scenes, especially in the high maintain ranges, it is not easy to understand how tough the rescue efforts are.
Also, there were continuous aftershocks during the post-quake days.
At about two in the early morning of Sunday, when I was just about to go to bed at the home of my parents-in-law in Deyang, the strongest ever aftershock forced me to rush out in the open. Half an hour later, I calmed down and picked up courage to return to the building.
With the wind blowing through the windows, I could not fall asleep. Was the sound the wind made, I feared, from an aftershock?
(China Daily 05/19/2008 page9)

Update from Deyang

Monday, May 19th, 2008

I was on the phone with Mr Hu Bei, Deputy Director of Deyang (德阳) Educational Bureau, another county near the epicentre which has been devastated by the earthquake. One of his main concerns was how quickly they can rebuild schools for the estimated 30,000 school children survived the quake. He wanted to make sure the children would be able to resume they study as soon as possible, not to miss too many lessons. According to his estimate, the school rebuilding project would cost at least 3 billion RMB (about £220 millions, US$430 millions) in Deyang County alone.

He also expressed the concern that the relief aids were not reaching the areas outside big towns quickly enough. About 60-80% of collapsed houses are in the poor rural areas, where the children need more attention and care.

Wendy Wu

CEO, Mother Bridge of Love

19 May 2008

Tingting’s Love for Children in earthquake

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Two drawings from the six-year-old for the children in China Quake:

“Crathes Castle” by Tingting

“Drum Castle” by Tingting

*************** Mom’s letter ************

My dear friends,

Everyday I receive either phone calls or e-mails from my friends around the world asking me if my family are safe in China. I want to give a heartfelt thanks to you all for your kind thoughts and concern.

The earthquake has not just hit the people in China, but overseas Chinese too, few days on my heart feels the pain and my tears could not stop while I am watching and reading the news.

This morning, I showed my daughter Tingting some of the after quake images on the internet, and told her that so many children have now lost their Mum and Dad; they have nothing left, because the earthquake has destroyed everything around Chengdu. She was listening and looking at the photographs, then she suddenly walked away from the computer quietly and I heard her bedroom door slam shut. I instantly thought maybe some of the images were too disturbing and had upset her, I went to her room to check, when I opened the door, a touching scene strike me before my eyes:

Tingting knelt down on the floor, two hands were shaking her moneybox and some pennies had dropped on the red carpet, she saw me come in, then quickly grabbed the pennies and held them in front of me:

“Mummy, give the children my money, tell them: please buy anything they like.”

Oh! The moment, my heart was tightening and my tears rushed out like pulling rain, I hugged her with all my heart and I was completely speechless.

“Is this enough Mummy,” she looked at me and asked with her pure innocent face.

When I looked down, my tears had dropped on her little hands with few brown and silver pennies. She put them down on the floor and said let’s count them:

“One, two, three…” she earnestly counted each penny and summed them up with her small fingers:

“Eighteen… wait Mum, I have more”. She then went to her draw and found her little purse, took other few pennies out,

“Is this enough now”! She had that little worried look on her face.

I wiped out my tear but still more burst out and I could not stop. I know that she was waiting for me to confirm.

“No, my little sweetie, its not enough here,” I watched her little face with a disappointment.

“But helps. Every penny you give to them all helps, help them to buy a pencil, paper so they can draw like you. Thank you Tingting https://..kamagra-oral-jelly/! My darling, Mum so proud of you!”

I hugged her so tight, and kissed her “Mum love you so much”.

“Mum, I want to you be happy”.

“Yes, I am happy! I am so happy you have a good and kind heart, you care about people”.

As a mother this is a best reward, and I am so proud of her, my little girl who is six years of age, who can be so considerate who has such a kind heart.

This is just a little story happened today and I would like to share with you, once again, thanks very much for your friendship. My family and friends in Chengdu are safe and well.

Here I attach the Website, a charity ” Mother Bridge of Love” which founded by my friend Xinran, who has given her heart to help children in China, if you would like to make a donation to help the Sichuan earthquake, you could find how to do it in the website.
Alternatively contact Wendy Wu at 020 70340686 for information about MBL.

Thank you all


News: China deals with children orphaned by quake

Monday, May 19th, 2008


CHENGDU, China, May 18 (Reuters) - Chinese authorities already struggling to deal with the aftermath of Monday’s massive earthquake are now trying to cope with a flood of children orphaned by the disaster.

Over the weekend more than 140 Chinese teenagers with missing parents were moved to a university campus in the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu.

Experts and social workers warn that much more needs to be done to repair the deep psychological damage that they and other survivors have suffered, in an earthquake whose death toll is already approaching 30,000, and is likely to climb further.

“The students have been given the food, clothes and shelter that they need since they arrived last night. And they are now starting to think about their families. They are crying at night as they can’t find their parents,” said their teacher Zhang Ping.

“I think we have a big problem on our hands.”

Between the ages of 13 to 15, the students are from Yingxiu town, which was badly battered when the 7.9 quake rocked the southwestern province of Sichuan on Monday.

Many schools collapsed. Witnesses say they simply sank into the ground.

“The primary schools were completely flattened. My little sister is buried inside,” said Luo Xiaofung, 15. “I don’t think she could have survived.”

“We all quickly went under our tables as our teachers told us we are considered very lucky,” said Luo. Except for about 30 students and five teachers, everyone in her 1,600-strong school survived, teachers said.


For Luo and her schoolmates, the canteen of the Chengdu Medical University will be their home for the foreseeable future.

Carpenters worked round the clock over the weekend to assemble bunk beds for the teenagers while university students removed half a dozen pool tables from the canteen to give the teenagers more space.

A large hall on an upper floor has been converted into their new dormitory with each child allotted the space of just one single mattress on the floor in the meantime.

“This is better than sleeping in a tent. It was beginning to stink (with rotting corpses) when we left Yingxiu,” said another student, Zhang Li.

Most of the students busied themselves cleaning and washing their clothes and shoes during their afternoon break.

But social workers say it will be a long time before any semblance of normalcy returns to the lives of these young people — if it happens at all.

“They may nod and agree when you tell them to be strong, but they are very hurt inside. They have lost their parents, lost everything in a flash,” said social worker Qian Guijun.

“The smaller children can’t even verbalise their feelings. They have a look of terror when you mention the earthquake. They just start tearing up.”

Many of the students were fixated on the two large TV screens installed in their dormitory, carrying news reports of the aftermath of the quake. One child turned around and hid her face, as she quietly wiped away her tears.

Thirteen-year-old Zeng Qiang, who lost his mother in the quake and is hunting for his father, asked a Reuters journalist to contact his older sister in Beijing. “Please let her know that granny and me are alive,” he said.

Yang Huijun, dean of the School of Basic Medicine, said many challenges lie ahead. Volunteers, like the Hong Kong-based Social Workers Across Borders, have approached the university to offer counseling services.

“We’ll have to work on their later problems, their emotional problems, once they settle in,” Yang said. (Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

A useful link:

Three Minutes Mourning on May19 in China

Monday, May 19th, 2008

 At 2:28 p.m. (7:28 a.m. UK time) Monday(May 19), Chinese citizens nationwide will stand in silence for three minutes to mourn for the victims, while air raid sirens and horns of automobiles, trains and ships will wail in grief.


The China Seismological Bureau (CSB) Sunday ( May 18) revised the magnitude of southwest China earthquake from 7.8 to 8.0 on the Richter scale;


The death toll from magnitude 8.0 earthquake that jolted southwest China’s Sichuan Province had risen to 32,476 nationwide by 2 p.m. on Sunday and the number of injured reached 220,109


The Beijing Olympic torch relay will also be suspended from Monday to Wednesday.

source from Xin Hua 


Three-Day National Mourning

Monday, May 19th, 2008

China’s national flag flies at half-mast after the flag-raising ceremony on Tian’anmen Square in Beijing Monday morning, May 19, 2008. China on Monday begins a three-day national mourning for the tens of thousands of people killed in a powerful earthquake which struck the country’s southwest on May 12.

Source from: Xin Hua

Chinese Embassy in London opens for Condolences at the National Mourning Period

Monday, May 19th, 2008

From the website of Chinese Embassy in London:

Chinese Embassy in London opens for Condolences at the National Mourning Period
The State Council of China has declared a national morning period from 19th to 21st of May, 2008 to express deep condolence to victims of the earthquakes that hit Wenchuan County of Sichuan Province. The Chinese national flag will be flown at half mast at the time. There will be a condolence book and donation box in the ground floor of the Embassy for people of all walks of life in Britain from 0900 to 1800 Monday 19th to Wednesday 21st May. Embassy staff is there to receive and provide help wherever necessary.

List of urgently needed materials for earthquake rescue and relife

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Chinese Embassy in London’s website has published a list of urgently needed materials in the rescue and relief actions in Sichuan earthquake.

List of Urgently Needed Materials for Earthquake Rescue and Relief

1. Medicine

(1)Albumin (10g)

(2)Tramadol Hydrochloride Injection (2ml)

2.Medical Devices

(1)Hemodialysis Machine

(2) DNA Sequencer

(3).Ventilator (brands: Tyco, Drager, Newport, Siemens)

(4).Rechargeable Bedside X-ray Machine (brands: Shimadzu, Siemens, GE)

(5).ECG, Multi-functional Monitor (brands: Philips, GE, Siemens, Drager)

II. Search and Rescue Equipment

Mother Bridge of Love LinkChinese UK
Chinese Young Professionals in Edinburgh