Recovering from a Beating by Mother Nature – Part 4/4

June 27, 2011

If you are interested in the challenges China faces from mother nature, I suggest visiting the Asian Disaster Reduction Center Site (ADRC) to discover that China has survived earthquakes, extreme climate changes, floods, storms, storm surges, forest fires, drought, insect damage, landslides and slope failure.

In particular, earthquakes, droughts and cyclones have caused major damage.

In fact, China is one of the countries most affected by natural disasters, which occur frequently affecting more than 200 million people every year and these disasters have become an important restricting factor for economic and social development. Between 108 BC and 1911 AD there were no fewer than 1,828 major famines in China, or one nearly every year in one or another province.

In addition, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake has continued the country’s revision of their disaster relief plans. One year after the earthquake, the government announced its continued efforts to improve disaster response. A white paper published on the anniversary details plans to increase the state-level storage facilities for relief materials, such as tents, blankets, medicines and rescue devices, from 10 to 24 so that China may react faster to deal with another serious disaster.


American Red Cross – China Earthquake: One Year Later

On May 12, 2011, according to the Pakistan Defense Website (I couldn’t find this information from a Western media source), China’s expenditures and reconstruction efforts since the Sichuan earthquake have cost 885.15 billion yuan, which was 92.37% of the overall rebuilding budget.

Also reported was, “China’s first earthquake museum was opened in Sichuan. It covers 140,000 square meters, and is made up of six theme sections with 270 exhibits and 559 photos.”

“In Sichuan alone,” Pakistan Defense said, “nearly 3,000 schools, 1,000 hospitals and more than 5 million homes have been built or renovated, according to Wei Hong, executive vice-governor of Sichuan province.”

Before condemning China for the schools that collapsed during the Sichuan earthquake, do not forget that the US has allowed nearly 400,000 people to live in the potential path of death and destruction from Mount Rainier, which has been labeled American’s most dangerous volcano. Source: KOMO News

Jesus Christ said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Return to Recovering from a Beating by Mother Nature – Part 3 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

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Recovering from a Beating by Mother Nature – Part 2/4

June 25, 2011

In this post, we will visit the recovery of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina.

In March 2009, Planetizen reported that Citizen Recovery Efforts Hit Government Barriers in New Orleans.  It was a traumatic story about two New York architects wanting to do something to help the recovery that ran into a wall of dysfunctional government.

Roberta Brandes Gratz wrote, “When architects Anne Van Ingen and Wes Haynes set out to aid the New Orleans recovery effort by restoring a home in the Ninth Ward for low income buyers, they thought their work would be welcomed. But bureaucratic interference and misguided policies have turned a good deed into a nightmare.”


China earthquake response, faster than US Katrina response

On August 29, 2010, the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, News Ahead.com reported, “President Barak Obama acknowledged that recovery has been slow. He vowed to see that turf wars and red tape didn’t hamper recovery, and the 5th anniversary of the storm offers a measuring stick.

“New Orleans appears to be returning to its old self, but throughout the region, boarded-up houses, overgrown vacant lots, homelessness and a lack of essential infrastructure tell a story of continuing impediments to recovery.”

This link to the Documenting Disaster timeline provides a glimpse of the pace of reconstruction and challenges that New Orleans has faced since the hurricane hit New Orleans on August 25, 2005.

There is a “+” or “-” bar on the left of the screen that allows you to move the timeline from when the hurricane hit to when the only movie theater reopened in Chalmette on July 29, 2010.

Then on March 30, 2011, The Northerner, The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University (NKU) published a piece by Jill Liebisch about Kelsey Robinson and Stephanie Mathena and how they assembled a group of eight NKU students to travel to New Orleans to film a documentary and aid in various rebuilding efforts.

Their conclusion, “There is still a lot of work to do in New Orleans.”

Continued on June 26, 2011 in Recovering from a Beating by Mother Nature – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


Recovering from a Beating by Mother Nature – Part 1/4

June 24, 2011

Man has little power to stop the damage and loss of property and life caused by the power of blizzards, earthquakes, floods, forest fires, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and volcanic eruptions such as the famous one from Mount St. Helens in 1980 that blew down or scorched 230 square miles of forest or the dangers of Mount Rainier, which could kill thousands and cause billions in damage in less than an hour if it erupted as it has many times in the past.

However, governments from countries such as the US and China, the two largest economies on the planet, do have an ability to recover faster from the damage caused by one of these devastating blows from nature than many countries do.

On March 11, 2011, much of the world witnessed the horrible tragedy in Japan as an undersea earthquake caused the Tsunami that hit Japan resulting in much death and destruction.

Then in May 2011, Americans witnessed on the news or experienced how powerful nature is as more than a thousand tornadoes roared through the Midwest flattening American towns and cities while causing much destruction and more loss of life.

In this series, I will write about the recovery efforts in Sichuan, China, where a devastating 8.0 earthquake struck in May 2008 and about the thousands that lost their lives while millions were made homeless. I will compare China’s recovery to New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina, which hit the US Gulf Coast in August 2005, and Haiti’s recovery from its devastating January 2010 earthquake that killed about 300,000.

In fact, I spent hours hunting for the information I was interested in, which was a comparison of the recovery efforts from the 2005 Hurricane Katrina and the Sichuan earthquake of 2008.

What I learned may surprise some people that pay too much attention to Western Media sources such as FOX, CNN or The New York Times. Sometimes what we don’t learn is more revealing than what is reported.

Continued on June 25, 2011 in  Recovering from a Beating by Mother Nature – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


Man-Made Disasters

August 26, 2010

Global Voices Online writes about man-made disasters, and I couldn’t help myself. I had to leave a comment.

While reading the post at Global Voices Online, I was reminded of the floods in China and the recent earthquake there.

Xinhua reports that China mourns mudslide victims as relief operation continues.  The piece said, “At least 1,248 people have died and 496 are listed as missing.

I read in the Guardian (April 14, 2010), that a 7.1 quake hit Yushu county in north-west province of Qinghai killing at last 400 and injuring 10,000.

When my sister and her children joined me on Mt. Rainier more than a decade ago, I learned that more than two million people lived below this active volcano, which is overdue for an eruption.

Mt. Rainer overlooks the city of Seattle in the United States.

According to experts, if Mt. Rainier blows, the wall of mud and trees that would rush toward the ocean would be 700 feet high and reach the ocean in less than half-an-hour. 

Meanwhile, homes are still being built along that path of future destruction, and there is no way to to protect those homes and people who live there.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the flooding was caused by man.  People built houses on land that has been sinking for decades. The government built walls to keep the water out but the walls weren’t strong enough.  More than 1,800 people died from that hurricane. In New Orleans, 80% of the city was flooded, and over 700 bodies were recovered there.

Why do people build in harm’s way?

See The WHO’s War on Tobacco, about another man-made disaster.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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