From the Readers

Tale of devastation and hope

(China Daily)
Updated: 2011-03-23 08:01
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Comment on Li Xing's column "Reaching out to others in times of crisis" (China Daily, March 18)

I am a Japanese living in Beijing. My husband is a Chinese national, who has business interests in Japan. He returned home from Tokyo on March 12, a day after the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, but soon went back to the Japanese capital.

From what I have gathered, survivors have been sharing supplies. Many people in the disaster-struck areas have to depend on food and essential supplies delivered by trucks to the shelters.

Some people cannot leave their homes because they have no fuel to drive even to a temporary shelter, and are running out of food and water. But such people have gathered with neighbors and are taking care of each other.

There are not enough volunteers in the devastated areas, though many who specialize in relief and rescue work have reached places where people need help and have set up (or are setting up) volunteer centers.

But it is difficult to get food, water, fuel and toilets in places where the damage is severe. If too many volunteers rush to such sites, they can aggravate the problem because of lack of necessities. That's why the Japanese government is using television broadcasts to ask volunteers not to rush to disaster-hit areas. Volunteers will be notified as soon as they are needed through the government website.

In such crises, people tend to panic. Bu it is important to listen to the government broadcasts and hope for the best, instead of lending our ears to rumors.

Mana, via e-mail

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(China Daily 03/23/2011 page9)