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Sichuan Earthquake Update » Stories

Sichuan Earthquake Update

Help the Earthquake Children to Recover

Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

Teacher’s love

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Translations from Chinese by Candice Zhou

In the Wenchuan earthquake, Huanhuan kindergarten in Zundao town was collapsed at the moment more than 80 children were having their noon snap. Three teachers and more than 50 children are killed in the disaster. Now two teachers are injuried and under operation. One child is still missing.

After the earthquake, parents were gathered around the ruins, calling their children’s names from time to time. At the beginning, children could give faint response. But as time passed by, the response became weaker and weaker. Parents felt helpless, sitting near the ruins, anxiously waiting for the rescuers.

The head of the kindergarten bursted into tears when she recalled the time when one of her teachers, Miss Qu Wangrong was found by the rescue team. “At that time, Miss Qu flutter to the ground, with her back firmly blocked the collapse of the concrete sheet, arms still firmly holding a child. The child is rescued, but Miss Qu has left us forever.”

In the ruins, you can see small pillows, quilts and shoes everywhere. People don’t want to imagine the helplessness and panic at that time. However, it’s because an ordinary people just like Miss Qu, we have more children rescued.

original links: http://club.news.sohu.com/r-zz0081-107431-0-0-0.html

Poem by Zhang Suning: If you’re alive, then mum is too

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Second poem by Zhang Suning, inspired by the events during earthquake rescue operation. Zhang Suning recited the poem during the Edinburgh charity auction for the earthquake children.

My darling baby, if you’re alive, then mum is too

by Zhang Suning (Chinese version here)

Translated from Chinese to English, by Yuhua Hu

If you're alive, so is mum
When the rescuers found her, she had died, killed by the house that collapsed. She died in a very unusual posture. She was kneeling on the floor, the whole upper body stretched forward with her arms supporting her whole body. The posture looked like the kneeling Koutou etiquette in ancient China, but her body was completely distorted by the pressure. When people cleared away the rubble around her, they found a baby was lying underneath her body, wrapped up in a small red blanket with golden patterns. The baby was about 3, 4 months old. Because of the protection from his mother’s body, he was still peacefully asleep when found. The rescuing doctor found a mobile phone inside the blanket, and on the screen of the phone, there was a message ‘My darling baby, if you survive, please remember I love you’.

My darling baby, if you’re alive, then Mum is too

My darling baby, you are still alive
It was Mum who had given you life

It was the second time Mum had given you life
The other time Mum was in great pain
This time Mum is in heaven above
–but now Mum can kiss you no more

My darling baby, you are still alive
It was Mum who had given you life

It was the second time Mum had given you life
Mum gave up her future for your future
Mum sacrificed her life for your life
–and now Mum will only appear in your dreams

Mum must have fed you for the last time
Mum must have changed your nappy for the last time
Mum must have kissed you again and again, till her last breath
Mum must have kept talking to you, till the last moment

My darling baby, you are alive, this was Mum’s hope
My darling baby, as long as you’re alive, Mum’s hope goes on
–a hope that was sheltered by a delicate body
–a hope that was raised up by an immortal life

My darling baby, if you are alive, then Mum is too
Mum’s blood is running in your vessels
Mum’s genes are thriving in every one of your cells
My darling baby, if you are alive, then Mum is too
You are Mum’s dreams in heaven
You are the resurrection of Mum’s life
My darling baby, if you are alive, then Mum is too
You are the extension of Mum’s life
You are the eternity of a mother’s love
My darling baby, if you are alive, then Mum is too
Forever alive, in your life

Poem by Zhang Suning: Is any survivor here this child’s family member?

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

A poem written by Zhang Suning, inspired by the events in the rescue operation. Zhang Suning recited the poem during the Edinburgh charity auction.

‘Is any survivor here this child’s family member?’

by Zhang Suning (Chinese version here)

Translated from Chinese to English, by Yuhua Hu

Is any survivors here this child's family member?

2am, 13 May. A medical team member in Dujiangyan, “Is any survivor here this child’s family member?”

I don’t know your name
but I know you are your parents’ baby
I don’t know your age
But I know you and my child are the same age
I don’t know whether your parents are still among us
But I know you are safe in the arms of this unfamiliar Aunt
I don’t know if you’re fast asleep, or in a coma
but I know you’ve just suffered a hellish trauma

Perhaps in your dreams you are remembering your mum’s kisses so dear
Perhaps in your coma you are stroking your daddy’s beard
Perhaps you have not woken from the shock yet
Perhaps you have remained among the memory before the Quake still
Perhaps you’re still waiting for your Mum and Dad to come back
Perhaps you are waiting for when you need no more ‘perhaps’

‘Is any survivor here this child’s family member?’
This is an anxious call of searching
This is an eruption of suppressed sorrow
This is a desperate cry of a grief-stricken heart
This is a faint hope among the immense suffering
‘Is any survivor here this child’s family member?’
This call is an earthquake shaking my soul
Ripping apart every parent’s heart

Child, I beg you to wake up soon
You still have many people who care for you
We are waiting for you to come back safe
We willl see to that a bright future will come apace
Child, I beg you to wake up soon
You are Sichuan’s child
You are China’s child
You are our child, everyone of us

The Reading Under the Ruins

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

(The story is translated into English by Song P.)

Schoolgirl Kept on Reading While Being Buried Under the Ruins
 
Her Extraordinary Strength Reduced the Teacher to Tears
 
“Have you by any chance found that lovely, studious girl called Qingqing?” At the rescue scene, Quanhong Chen, the class instructor of Unit One in Grade One of Rong Hua Town Junior Middle School kept asking, as she knew, Qingqing, though coming from a poverty stricken family, was blessed with lofty aspirations, and often immersed herself in reading under torchlight on her way home after school.
 
Whenever a body of a school kid was pulled out of the debris of collapsed buildings, Quanhong Chen wept her tears in silence. “Only a day ago they were still full of lives, bouncing around joyfully…How can this be happening?”
 
Luckily, at last, the schoolgirl named Qingqing Deng was rescued by the officers and solders of Unit 3 Hydropower Rescue Team from the Armed Police Force. What moved the class instructor Chen and the rescue team was that up until she was rescued from the nightmarish ruins, she kept on reading her textbook under the torchlight. She said, “I was terrified as it was pitch black down there. Feeling cold and hungary, I have had to engage in reading as to spare myself from the fears” Her honesty, just as her strength, deeply moved everyone. Quanhong Chen burst into tears. While holding Qingqing in her arms, she said, “Good kid, all will be well as long as you got out of there alive!”
 
In another scenario similar to that of Qingqing Deng, a girl called Yao Luo, had her hands and legs both injured during the earthquake. While being buried under the ruins, she was humming and singing the “Piano Dreams” unceasingly in an effort to keep herself stay awake. these efforts not only kept her alert, but also, in the end, rewarded her with the triumph over death.

Tomorrow, I’m going to Wenchuan

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

source: Baidu Post
Translated by Karen.

I am a surgeon. I am standing on the land of Beijing now. I resigned from my job in Livepool UK yesterday and hurried all my way back to Beijing. Sichuan is my hometown. My motherland is being devastrated by this disaster. I couldn’t bear to watching all these without doing something. I have to come back and fight in the front line.

It was on 12th of May when the 7.8 grade earthquake attacked my hometown. I couldn’t imagine how it looks like now, but I have to face the cruel fact that my dearest parents, who gave me life and raised me up, have died in this devastation. My uncle told me this terrible news that I would rather never know and hope it would never come true! My son kept asking me about his grandparents, ‘Where are grandpa and grandma? Are they all right?’ I don’t know how to answer.

I cried for a whole day, finished two dozen packs of cigerattes, then I decided to go back to my motherland by all means, either resigning or taking holidays - I just had to go back. I have lost my parents, and I have to save more parents. I still have my son. I hope to see more parents and children reunited with my contribution.

I arrived Beijing eventually. I phoned many hostipals, but all the rescure teams have already set out. All right, I just have to go by myself then. I have booked my flight ticket of 8am tomorrow for Chengdu. I am going to Wenchuan from Dujiangyan. I must go to the most severely-damaged places where more supports are needed.

I do not cry anymore. I have found a way to return gratitude to my parents. They worked hard to give me the chance to be a doctor. I can’t save my parents, but I can save someone else’s parents.

Dear dad and mum, your son is kneeing down to pay you last respect. From now on he will use all he has learned to help others. I wish what I do will make you proud and smile from the heaven.

Heaven Bless China.

She Didn’t Cry

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Translated from Chinese by Candice Zhou

The 12 years old student Li Yue was from Beichuan. She was buried in the ruins. Her left leg was stuck between huge concrete sheets. The rescuers didn’t have the equipment to remove the heavy concrete. Li Yue begged the man accompanied her, ”I’d rather kill myself if I lost my leg.”

The dilemma facing the rescue team was there were four other students buried underneath Li Yue who were still alive. If they couldn’t take Li Yue out quickly, the four students’ can’t be rescued and their lives were in danger. There were several aftershocks everyday, and might cause more casualties. At last, Li Yue’s mom agreed to doctor’s advice. Her daughter’s left leg was to be amputated on site.

After 69 hours under the ruins, Li Yue was rescued. When she awaked, she found she had already lost her left leg. However, she didn’t cry.

I have seen many stories about the earthquake, and this is the first one about the child who didn’t cry. Wish small Li Yue be strong to go on her way. And hope more people will come to help her and support her.

original link:http://glockwq.spaces.live.com/default.aspx

The First Day Back to School

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

News source

Two buildings collapsed in the earthquake in Juyuan secondary school China,Photophied by Junhu Li, repoter of Finance and Economy Net.
Two buildings collapsed in the earthquake in Juyuan secondary school China,Photographied by Junhu Li, repoter of Finance and Economy.
On the day returning to school, Shihao Guo read a card with his writing with tears,' Brother Wei Zhu, Are you all right in Heaven? '
On the day returning to school, Shihao Guo read a card with his writing with tears,’ Brother Wei Zhu, Are you all right in Heaven?

On 19th of May, Some of secoundary one students in Juyuan Secondary school, city of Dujiangyan, returned to class.

The classes were moved to Juyuan Primary school because in Juyuan Scoundary, 1 or 2 km away, 2 buildings collapsed in the earthquake and several hundred students and 6 teachers were tragically killed.

The head teacher of Juyuan Secondary school said,’ one week ago, we were working and studying together, but now we are seperated between 2 worlds.’

(more…)

Video: Thousands of children & student died in Sichuan Earthquake

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

The audiences are warned that the first half of this video contains some highly distressful pictures (they may have seen too many). However, in the second half, the author of this video, who was born and raised in Yingxiu and Dujiangyan, expressed his sorrow and love to his hometown, which is heart-warming.
(source: http://www.youtube.com/v/2LjHiMXAxaU)

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)

SichuanEarthquake.org.uk
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Chinese Young Professionals in Edinburgh
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