Before I focus on Sichuan‘s recovery from the massive 2008 earthquake in China that killed about 90,000 (compared to more than 300,000 dead in Haiti‘s earthquake in 2010), I will point out what I discovered from The New York Times, Fox News, and CNN to offer a glimpse of the criticism leveled at China from the Western media. There has also been some criticism leveled at China’s recovery efforts.
The themes of these reports were, “Thousands of the initial quake’s victims were children (about 5,000, but more children died in Haiti and those that survived are still threatened as you will soon discover) crushed in shoddily built schools, inciting protests by parents. Local police harassed the protestors and the government criticized them. At least one human rights advocate who championed their cause was arrested.” Source: The New York Times, CNN.com and Fox News
Note: While searching for information on the recovery efforts in Sichuan, I had trouble finding anything from the previous three sources. It was almost as if those three Western media sources had an unwritten rule that said we never print or say anything postive of China.
UNICEF and IKEA aid China earthquake recovery
However, I did find a report from Time Magazine on China’s recovery but also discovered from UNICEF that a year after the Haiti 2010 earthquake, Haiti’s 22,000 schools still lack safe drinking water and sanitation while health specialists expect cholera to remain endemic in Haiti for years to come.
Time Magazine’s Austin Ramzy reported, “I went back to Sichuan six months after the catastrophe and was amazed at the speed of physical and economic recovery. In Dujiangyan, the largest city in the quake zone, the rubble and tent cities had disappeared. The jumble of debris was replaced by piles of new bricks, lumber and other construction materials.
“There was a building boom across the region, and dozens of temporary villages were erected to house the 5 million people who were rendered homeless by the quake.
“The prefab housing was made out of blue aluminum siding lined with Styrofoam insulation. It had concrete floors and was arranged in neat rows in flat spots at the bases of the mountains. Conditions weren’t luxurious, but the camps were clean and the housing dry and fairly warm.”
Note: Time Magazine couldn’t resist mentioning the collapsed schools using similar language to the other Western sources mentioned above as if it were China’s fault that the earthquake took place and the children died.
These reports offer unproven allegations, which may or may not be true but what does that have to do with recovery efforts? In fact, many buildings/homes in rural areas of China were not well built and may have dated back centuries, which is common in third world and developing countries such as China.
Continued on June 27, 2011 in Recovering from a Beating by Mother Nature – Part 4 or return to Part 2
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