The Most Severe Disaster I Experienced

Recently, I experienced the most severe disaster I have ever experienced in China. The snow + the Spring Festival transportation peak made the country a mess. To be exact, this may not be the most severe disaster, but I didn’t experience it personally in the previous few, but this one, I feel people around me are impacted, and can imagine how bad the situation is.

On the way home, I listened to the radio and there is a story about a woman and her 22 day old infant was stack in the middle of the highway for 7 days, and were sent to hospital. This is just one of the almost one million of people on their way home.

Due to the snow in South China, many roads are completely blocked, and long distance bus were stuck there for 7 or more days. Instant noodle is reported to raise to 80 RMB from 1-3 RMB – and you can get it only after you still have money (after spending it to buy expensive goods), and you are lucky enough to find a seller. I cannot imagine to be stuck in the bus for so many days in snow – of cause there will be no air conditioning.

Zhangzhou in Hunan enters its 8th days out of water and electricity. Many places are the same. The whole country suffers from electricity shortage, and half of the 30+ provinces experience electricity pause.

There are still so many people rushing to train station and bus station, although there are no bus departure or train there.

In the next few days, my friends and colleges are heading back home. Good luck to them!

8 Comments

  1. Chenzhou, not Zhangzhou.

  2. Showing my deeply sympathy.

    Hope God bless those people on the road.

  3. My deep sympathy also for the people trapped in that fool weather unable to go home.

  4. that poor mother and her young infant child stuck on the highway for 7 days. Their hardship is almost too large for me to even half way comprehend.

  5. instant noodles rising from 1-3 RMB to 80 RMB in price? What a gouge!! sounds like profiteers are busy in the snow and ice.

  6. I saw on TV, really sad scene!! We have to think about global warming effects and do our part to help out.

  7. Broken Government is what this was all about. USA had its Katrina, and China have its Snow Storm.

  8. While I recognize that China may not be prepared for storms like this, I do wonder if the officials watch the weather forecast.

    Obviously what has made this “storm” unique is it’s timing. Millions take to the trains, buses and air during this CNY time. Considering this happened during the most traveled period of the year, it’s little wonder things have turned out so bad.

    But … I really think that once again there were officials asleep at the wheel. Having lived in the Guangzhou area during the SARS disaster, I’m maybe super-sensitve to the governements response time and preperation for diasters.

    I wonder if it had not been for CNN live coverage of the mess at the GZ train station if over 200,000 military would have been as quickly dispatched to control the situation.

    As we go through our daily lives here, I think that we sometimes forget that their isn’t a mature infra-structure to handle these types of things.

    I wonder if CNY’s holiday impact on this country as it goes forward will be considered. While I realize how important this is, (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all rolled into one), it is impossible for the country to effectly shut down and transport the millions that travel. I wonder if now, in this day and age, while not losing it’s importance it will at least be put into a more reasonable perspective?

    But … I also remember Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, an a country with as sophisticated a infra-structure as is technically available … fumbled the ball in response to this disaster.

    Let’s hope that the 2008 winter and CNY holiday will not only be remembered for it’s terrible impact on people lives, but a wake up call for the government that they need to spend money on prevention and govern the largest population on the planet and he fastest growing economy.

    Olymipics be damned … focus that energy on improving your citizens lives.

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