Aftermath of Sichuan earthquake revealed both heroes and villains

Aftermath of Sichuan earthquake revealed both heroes and villains

We should praise the firefighters and policemen who helped to save lives, but punish those responsible for faulty buildings

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Some buildings were not built up to a certain standard.
Photo: AFP

I am writing in response to the article “The Deadly Tremors” (Young Post, May 15). 

It is about what causes earthquakes and what can be done to limit the destruction. However, I would like to offer a different perspective.

We always discuss the devastating effects of earthquakes, with the focus on the number of deaths and injuries. But we rarely take the time to appreciate those who help victims of such tragedies. We should be grateful to the firefighters and policemen who save lives, the charitable organisations which donate medicine and other supplies, and donors who give a lot of money to provide long-term relief for the needy.

The article also mentions “tofu-dreg engineering”, which refers to the poor workmanship of buildings in Sichuan province. The area was hit by an earthquake 10 years ago. It killed around 87,000 people and injured hundreds of thousands more. I believe workers have good intentions, and hopefully, they will show more care in future building projects.

Lastly, we cannot predict or avoid sudden natural disasters, so it is important to cherish what we have.

Haley Lee Yan, Tak Nga Secondary School


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From the editor

Thank you for your letter, Haley. We’re glad you were touched by the story, and you raise an important point – we should also celebrate the heroes and champions of the day.

However, although we understand that you would like to think the best of people, not everyone in the world is honest and good. Buildings should be made to a certain standard. Sometimes that standard is expensive, so greedy businesspeople refuse to follow those rules and make poor buildings. They might have hoped they could get away with it by just hoping an earthquake would never come, even though Sichuan is known for its tremors.

It seems hard to believe whoever built those schools and homes did not know the area was dangerous. Worse was the government’s attempt to silence parents who had lost their children, and refusing to investigate and bring those responsible to account. Many mainlanders believe that local officials were bribed by builders to sign off on faulty buildings. This is a crime, and the rule of law should be followed.

Praise the heroes, but punish those responsible for this disaster.

Susan, Editor

Edited by Ben Young

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Looking on the bright side

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