China’s relief efforts in Nepal have been continuing two weeks after the neighboring nation was struck by an 8.1-magnitude earthquake, which killed at least 8,413 people and injured more than 17,576 others as of Wednesday.
As the quake-hit nation enters a phase of reconstruction and rehabilitation, Chinese government pledged continued relief supplies to Nepal and intensified decontamination and medical services to prevent disease.
On Wednesday, materials including water purifying plants and first-aid kits were dispatched aboard 18 military and civilian planes. They are scheduled to be delivered to Nepal by May 9.
A HELPFUL NEIGHBOR
The quick response by the Chinese government had been recognized by the international community. In the wake of the powerful quake on April 25, a 62-member Chinese search and rescue team, along with six dogs, arrived in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu the following day to become one of the first international search and rescue teams in the Himalayan country.
At about 5: 30 p.m. on April 26, the Chinese team rescued a teenager who had been trapped for one day in northwestern Kathmandu after spending four hours searching.
Hundreds of people surrounding the rescue site applauded when they saw the survivor was taken out of danger. The achievement made the Chinese rescue team the first international group to save a survivor.
The team braved aftershocks in the following days and spent 34 hours searching before they pulled a second survivor out of debris in the morning of April 28 due.
Statistics released on Thursday showed the Chinese medical and rescue teams had transferred 22 locals who were stranded by the quake to safe places. They have also treated 2,387 people.
As of Thursday, China had sent a total of 1,088 military personnel and members of armed police forces to help with disaster relief in Nepal after the earthquake.
That is the biggest group the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and armed police forces have sent to foreign soil for humanitarian aid missions since New China was founded in 1949, according to the PLA’s General Staff Headquarters.
The PLA Air Force deployed eight transport planes, three helicopters and 190 pieces of engineering machinery to Nepal to facilitate quake relief efforts.
Civil efforts are also outstanding. According to a statement of the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday, China has mobilized a total of 546 tonnes of relief materials worth 60 million yuan (about 9.8 million U.S. dollars) to Nepal since the earthquake on April 25.
About 1,600 tents, 10,000 blankets and 327 electric generators offered by the Chinese government have been distributed to quake-affect residents by local government, the ministry said.
In addition to aid from the government and military, the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) also provided 2,000 tents to the quake-hit nation, pledging more than half a million yuan in humanitarian aid.
MORE TO COME
As the search and rescue phase has come to an end, epidemic prevention and temporary housing of victims have taken over as priorities.
According to the Nepal, reconstruction of heavily damaged infrastructure, housing of victims and restoration of historic buildings will be prioritized.
Considering reconstruction is a long-term project, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs already asked Nepal what they need and China is ready to send experts for more detailed discussions.
On the disease control front, the Chinese medical teams had already helped the Nepalese formulate a post-disaster health and epidemic prevention plan.
And the RCSC sent an aid team of 20 members to Nepal last week to contribute to disease prevention work.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission said China may also send experts to help local psychologists counsel victims.
Knowing they are not fighting alone, China is coordinating with India on relief work.
The Foreign Ministry pledged that China will continue to communicate with India, and urge the international community to help Nepal.