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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

China's Earthquake

Our home feels greatly saddened by the news of China's most recent large-scale natural disaster. This 7.9 magnitude earthquake occurred so soon after the massive snowstorms, I'm sure the Chinese people are wondering what will happen next.

The devastation continues as aftershocks continue to hit China, one reportedly with a 6.0 magnitude. The death toll continues to rise, currently hovering at 12,000... a significant number of these fatalities are children because many schools collapsed. Our little Tongginator is from a mountainous area, but Tonggu County in Jiangxi Province is over 500 miles away from the quake's epicenter. Somehow that fact just doesn't seem to matter.

I ask that all of you pray for the people of China, most especially those living in the areas where the earthquake hit hardest. Geologists placed the epicenter just northwest of Sichuan Province's capital city Chengdu, but people as far away as Beijing (over 900 miles away from Chengdu) felt the big earthquake. Chongqing Municipality also suffered greatly during the original quake. Aftershocks continue to shake the region, so the damage may not be concluded.

Remember, too, that the people most effected by natural disasters are the impoverished, the marginalized and the forgotten. The orphans in China are surely considered among "the least of these," and they need prayer and assistance. One orphanage, the ChengDu SWI in Sichuan, already evacuated the children living there. Others in more rural areas near the epicenter haven't yet established contact with relief organizations, most probably due to unavailable services. There are 26 orphanages located within Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality.

Please also remember the pandas in the Woolong Giant Panda Reserve located in Sichuan Province. I am one who adores pandas, and the thought of these endangered animals suffering also saddens me.

If you'd like to learn more about the earthquake, check out these links:

National Public Radio's Chengdu Diary (a visiting NPR team)
Associated Press news story dated Monday, May 12
Washington Post Foreign Service news story dated Tuesday, May 13
Blog describing the earthquake, written by an American living in Beijing

If you'd like to learn more about how you can practically help, check out these links:

Half the Sky Children's Earthquake Fund
Love Without Boundaries Earthquake Fund
Chinese-Americans Open Wallets for Quake Relief

Remember, though, the most important thing you can do is pray for those effected by this natural disaster!


Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I wonder if the little girl I sponsor through Half The Sky is ok... take care

Aunt LoLo said...

We will definitely be praying for all those affected by the quake! We were lucky to have family very far SOUTH of the quake, in Canton and Hong Kong. The family we had in Beijing returned to the States last year.

I think the thing that struck me most was respect for China and their quick response and outpouring of love. I read this morning of villagers who lived near the sports arena where refugees were gathering, packing up pots of juk (congee) and cycling their way over to hand it out, or leaving bags of clothing along the road for refugees to pick through. Amidst all the craziness of the recalls, preparing for the Olympics, and various scandals...the people are still good and they still care. They're people, and I was just so proud of everyone there. (Compare that with a flood that happened not TOO far from there...it breaks my heart, the aid that cannot get in. All we can do is pray for them!)

discombobulated said...

I can barely look at the pictures of the babies you posted. I will pray for them, too. I'm behind in the news because of the move, but I did hear about it on the radio.

Chris & Deb said...

My heart has certainly been heavy the past few days! I can't stop thinking about the people affected from the quake.