Déjà vu: Earthquake in Haiti Echoes in Chinese Hearts

By Liu Qiong
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Today, March 5, 2010
Adjust font size:

International rescue underway

At 5 pm, January 17, Beijing time, a plane loaded with 86 tons of relief supplies landed in Haiti. This was the second chartered relief flight from the Chinese government. On January 15, the Chinese government offered to provide RMB 30 million (approx. US$ 4.4 million) in relief goods, including medicines, tents, portable water supplies, emergency lamps and clothing.

The tragedy in Haiti has strongly echoed in the minds of the Chinese who painfully recall the magnitude 8 earthquake that wreaked havoc to China's Sichuan Province in May 2008. As of press time, the Chinese Red Cross had already received RMB five million in donations for Haiti. When the Haitian government announced that the death toll had risen to over 200,000, Liu Zhenmin, deputy permanent representative of China to the United Nations declared that the Chinese government would increase relief aid to Haiti, including US$ 2.6 million in cash.

At the same time, flights carrying other international relief personnel and supplies arrived in Port-au-Prince. Three Spanish aircrafts transported relief workers along with 100 tons of tents, blankets, kitchen utensils and other materials. France sent 65 professionals to take care of debris removal as well as six sniffer dogs. The South Korean medical team and post-earthquake rescue team rushed to Haiti on January 15. The USS Carl Vinson nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was summoned to Haiti on January 15 to administer relief work and maintain social order.

Help even arrived from outside the Earth, when over 20 international satellites were committed to aid in the relief work. They collected image data of the stricken areas for rescuers on the ground. Andre Husson, an official from the French Space Agency, said on January 15 that the action was promoted by the "International Charter on Space and Major Disasters," a global disaster relief mechanism joined by at least 10 countries, including the U.S., Britain, China, France, Japan and India. Taiwan of China also took part in the relief operations.

"This is a closely coordinated international cooperation much like after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005." Husson explained that the Charter has been a part of 260 international disaster relief actions, each lasting eight to ten days, since it was first established in November 2000.

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has set up a logistics operations center in Haiti's island neighbor of the Dominican Republic. This group obtained logistics equipment, including vessels, to help the organization go about delivering food to Haiti. In addition, the WFP's temporary offices and rescue bases are now also under construction, in order to dispatch helicopters and bring materials to the needy. It also assigned the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Panama as a staging area for the Haitian relief. The agency's first aircraft loaded with humanitarian supplies arrived in Haiti on January 15.

The whole world is praying for the island, hoping that it can overcome the difficulties. On January 15 the United Nations declared that the international community had committed to providing as much as US$ 269 million in aid to Haiti.

   Previous   1   2   3   4   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter