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What lessons can be learned after disaster?

By Zhang Zhouxiang | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-28 06:45

Better coordination has improved rescue efforts

Zhang Qiang, a professor on public policies at Beijing Normal University / CHINA DAILY

From 2008 to 2017, Sichuan has suffered at least three major disasters: the earthquake in Wenchuan in 2008, the earthquake in Lushan in 2013, and the landslide in Maoxian in 2017. In each of these disasters, volunteers from across the country rushed to the site.

In 2008, when rescue volunteers rushed to Wenchuan, there was hardly any coordination and they worked with enthusiasm rather than professionalism. The situation changed in 2013 when the first volunteer service center was founded at the disaster site in Lushan, which coordinated the various rescue teams so that they could play their roles to their full potential.

This time in Maoxian, thanks to social networks and other digital technologies, the coordination among the local government and various social organizations has ensured that the human resources have been put to the most efficient use. On Sunday, the local government even asked some rescue teams to withdraw from the site, which shows it has complete information and could make a judgment about the effectiveness of rescue efforts. However, there is still a long way to go and better urban planning and publicity are also needed to better prevent and respond to natural disasters.

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