Friday, August 25, 2006

Over 15 million Chinese left homeless from typhoons

I've started watching Spike Lee's film "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts", about Hurricane Katrina, last night. This morning, I found the only wire story in the today's western Press about the recent typhoons in China:

SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- Communities in southeastern China are straining to resettle more than 15 million people left homeless by four devastating typhoons in recent months, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday.

The storms caused $3.6 billion in direct damage, Xinhua said, citing provincial officials in Fujian, the province worst hit by the disasters. The most costly damage was to businesses, farms, communications networks and water conservation projects. It said the central government had allocated only $7.5 million in relief funds for Fujian and neighboring Zhejiang province.

The most recent storm, Saomai, hit Fujian in mid-August, killing 441 people. It was the worst storm since record-keeping began in 1949, according to the government. Each summer brings catastrophic weather to China, usually in the form of torrential rains and tropical storms. But this year, while coastal regions are rebuilding from floods and typhoons, many inland areas are enduring their worst drought in decades.

That's about 100 000 people a word. You’d hope, with the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina coming next week, the devastating impact of the recent typhoons in China would garner more attention here.

Where's the outrage over this? $7.5 million in relief funds from the Chinese government? 50 cents per person made homeless? That makes the federal response to Hurricane Katrina look generous.

If you want to help, the Hong Kong Red Cross is accepting donations for typhoon relief.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kind of puts things in perspective for people in US and whole western world. In US people still talking about Katrina. They critisizing Bush administration.

Let say if that happens in China. You don't go to Toronto International Film Festival. You go to prison. Or you become organ donar. Or both.

See, this is what makes my blood boil. Chinese goverment can do all these things without public scrutiny, or media presence.