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A triumph over adversity

Updated: 2013-10-11 07:23
( China Daily)

A targeted approach, coupled with professional expertise, will boost disaster relief efforts in Yuyao, a city in East China's Zhejiang province, which was inundated by Typhoon Fitow, a storm of once-a-century intensity, this week.

When more than 70 percent of the city suffers a deluge, it is possible that some stranded residents may go without food or aid for a couple of days before relief efforts kick in. Caught unawares, the governments need to overcome any obstacles that delay aid or prevent evacuation efforts.

A triumph over adversity

Residents in an area of Yuyao that was still underwater on Thursday use boats and makeshift rafts as part of the rescue effort. [Gao Erqiang / China Daily] 

Some of the city's 1 million residents may be impatient, but relief efforts on such a scale and the logistic necessities require time to get organized properly. It takes time just to locate those in most need.

On the part of both the local and central governments, it does not make any sense, in such a time, to bother about accusations regarding belated warnings, inadequate preparations in advance and foot-dragging in disaster relief. There will come a time when these issues can be addressed but right now the priority lies elsewhere.

Given the easy access to both weibo (micro blog) and weixin (micro message), it is natural that complaints will be raised about this and that, and it is, unfortunately, not uncommon for rumors to spread when flooding has all but paralyzed a populous city. What the local government needs to do is direct and deliver relief to where it is urgently needed and raise the morale of residents.

It is the right thing to do for the local government to organize 155 emergency response teams of more than 4,000 members to help the storm-stricken residents. The teams are required to ensure access to every inundated building, every flooded house and all drainage equipment operating in every submerged residential area. Food and medicine, as well as equipment must be sent to the worst-hit areas.

There is a long way to go before residents of the city can get their life back to normal. But seeing relief work carried out professionally and compassionately will help pave the way to a better tomorrow.

Patience, perseverance and hard work, from all sectors of society and the local government, will ensure an eventual triumph over adversity.

(China Daily 10/11/2013 page8)