Search and You Shall Find in My World

13 June 2008

The Heroes of Sichuan Earthquake

An earthquake of magnitude 8.0 struck Sichuan province of China at 2:28PM, May 12, 2008. The epicenter of the earthquake, Wenchuan, is about 90 miles from Chengdu. The earthquake released more energy than 500 atomic bombs, 30 times more than the Kobe earthquake in Japan in 1995. By May 19, there are more than 32,000 confirmed dead, more than 20,000 still missing, and more than 4.7 million houses collapsed or heavily damaged.

Cities close to the epicenter are flattened; whole mountains collapsed.

Millions of people lost their loved ones, their homes, their belongings. Yet there is no looting, no complaints, just people helping each other.

Within hours, people rushed to rescue. Blood donation lines run for 100 yards, and people waited hours to donate blood. Within 24 hours, all major blood banks ran out storage space.

The highway to the earthquake struck city Dujianyang (20 mile from Chengdu) was almost jammed one hour after the earthquake, not by people fleeing the aftershocks, but by volunteers, led by over 1,000 taxi drivers, came from Chengdu to rescue.

An owner of a big construction company 1,500 miles from the disaster area, just 2 hour 30 minutes after the earthquake, started transporting 60 construction machineries and led 120 volunteers to rescue. They arrived at the disaster area 24 hours later, almost the same time as the Army Engineering Corps.

Medical workers provided care under extreme conditions; they even delivered many new born babies on the parking lot.

The Chinese Prime Minister boarded on a plane 30 minutes after the earthquake and arrived in the disaster area in 2 hours. He has been the chief of the rescue operation since then, working almost around clock at the frontline with rescue workers.

1,1000 paratroopers started boarding airplanes 2 hours after the earthquake. Despite heavy rains, high winds and thick clouds, they jumped from over 20,000 foot high to remote mountain areas where they did not even know if there would be a place for them to land.

With roads buried by landslide and bad weather hammering airborne operations, a group of 600 soldiers and medical teams walked 21 hours straight on foot in the mountain area, carrying heavy relief supplies, risking landslides and falling rocks. They became the first group to arrive at the epicenter of the earthquake.

Soldiers and rescue workers are working round the clock to rescue people still buried by the earthquake. Unable to transport heavy machineries to the remote areas since roads are buried by landslides, they often have to use hands to move tons of concrete.

People are rushing to donate money. Many rich people donated in millions, but no one can match a homeless in Nanjing, 1000 miles from the disaster area. He saw the news and went to donate 5 Yuan in the morning. He said people in the disaster area were worse off than him because their lives were threatened. He came back in the afternoon, donated another 100 Yuan ($14). He explained that all he had were pennies and dimes, and he didn’t want to waste volunteer workers’ time to count them, so he went to the bank to change everything he had into one big bill. This is from a man who doesn’t have money to buy food for himself.

A 3 year old child was pulled out from rubble after being buried for 2 days. She was in critical condition and lost a leg, but survived. Her parents hold each other’s hands and shoulders face to face to make an arch to shield her from the falling building. Her parents did not make it out.

A 5 year old boy was rescued after being buried under rubbles for 24 hours. His left hand was broken, but he smiled and saluted to his rescuers. His smile made everybody cry.

An 11 year old boy carried his sister and walked 12 hours straight to flee the disaster center.

When the earthquake struck, a 26 year old first grade teacher rushed to carry her stunned students from their classroom on the third floor to the ground floor. She managed to pull out most of her students, but the building collapsed when she was trying to pull out the last few. At the last moment of her life, she was trying to use her body to shield the students from falling concrete.

Many teachers did the same thing.

This baby, after being buried over 24 hours, miraculously, was rescued unscratched. He is about 3-4 months old, and his mother kneeled down, pinned her head and hands on the ground to shield him from the falling concrete, and milked him. His mother did not make it out. A rescue worker found his mom’s cell phone in his wrapper. It had a text message left by his mother: “Dear child, if you survive, please remember, Mom loves you forever…”


gema putri said...

thanks for the real story...

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh. these stories are just touching and just unbelievable devastating. hearing these stories made me want to cry, and the parents and the 11 year old boy. please rest in peace for those who passed away and those who are still trying to get over the loved ones that died.