With the earthquake from yesterday still on our minds, everyone I ran into in Luzhou was revisiting their shaking experiences today.
Our campus photography woman, whose shop lies across the front gate from our school, told me how her light fixtures swayed from side to side. She lives on the10th floor of a nearby new apartment building. Everyone headed toward the stairwell for the rush downward, although some decided to take the elevator.
Emergency procedures for most Chinese are usually forgotten when panic hits. Using an elevator in an earthquake situation is certainly not something one should do, obviously, but I guess her neighbors didn’t care.
The sidestreet store owner down the road told how her huge umbrella, used for shade, fell over. She pointed out to me how it was sunk in a concrete holder and yet it still toppled to the ground.
At church, we had prayers for those affected by the disaster. Nearly 200 were reported dead with over 6,000 injured. Rain in the area has made it difficult to get to remote villages. Mudslides and destroyed roads are the most hazardous problems at the moment. Our Luzhou Protestant Church is discussing sending doctors, nurses and medical supplies from the church clinic.
And from my organization, The Amity Foundation, we were sent an email from the staff, which I include below.
(FYI: Amity has summer English programs (SEP) for adult language teachers which take place in many different parts of China. Ya’an, a city of 1.5 million, was selected as an SEP site in 2011. These SEP’s are taught every year by American and British volunteers, from numerous Christian denominations, who lead English teachers in workshops to improve their language and teaching skills. Amity’s disaster relief division is also hard at work sending much-needed supplies to the area. As you can read, you will see Amity is hard at work taking care of the affected area as best they can.)
“Wendy” Wu’s Email: The Amity Foundation Reaches Out to Others
At 8:02 am on April 20th in Lushan county of Ya’an city in Sichuan province (30.3 degrees latitude north, 103.0 degrees longitude east), a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred, with an epicenter depth of 13 kilometers.
I believe that some of you may still remember that Ya’an was one of our SEP teaching sites in the year of 2011. After the earthquake took place, I tried to contact Mr. Li Mingqing, who serves as director of the Teaching Institute, Ya’an Education Bureau. Several hours later, I was glad to learn that he was safe and sound and managed to exchange a few text messages with him to learn about the actual situation there. Amity sent the first rescue team to the spot later in the afternoon of April 20th, with food and supplies. And the second rescue team set off this afternoon.
Please keep Ya’an in your prayer, and wish the Amity staff of disaster relief team the best of luck!
Ms. Wendy Wu / Wu Meijuan
Program Officer of Education and International Exchange Division
Starting Up The Week
As for myself, it’s time to start up the week again before another holiday hits us.
Labor Day (May 1st) will put yet another hiatus in my teaching schedule. Will we have Monday to Wednesday off or Wednesday to Friday off? The school officials haven’t yet decided. We’re all waiting to hear.
In the meantime, I’m just grateful to have a full week of teaching without all these interruptions. If it were up to me, I’d do away with these piddly one-to-two day holidays and just have us dismiss early for summer break.
Oh, well. Not my decision to make.
From Luzhou, here’s sending you Ping An (Peace) for your Sunday with good wishes to all those working hard to help our earthquake survivors.