Some locals wait for word from quake survivors

May 12, 2008 7:30:55 PM PDT
Chinese-Americans living in the Chicago area are waiting for word on loved ones living in the earthquake zone. There are more than 100,000 Chinese living in the Chicagoland area. Many were unable to reach their families living in the earthquake region until Monday afternoon.

Jack Lin has in-laws living in the Sichuan Province. Because power lines were down, his wife had trouble reaching them but finally talked with them late Monday morning.

Scott Lin finally talked to his parents Monday afternoon.

"Until twelve o'clock, in fact, my parents said they were sleeping," said Scott Lin

More than 80 percent of the buildings collapsed in the Sichuan Province.

"It's an extremely mountainous and rugged territory of a region. And it really worries me about people being able to get relief into the area," said Emily Bock, Chinese American Service League

The collapsed buildings trapped hundreds of students under the rubble. An unknown number of students were also buried in other cities nearby.

"Any disaster is a major disaster, but especially when it has to do with children. We generally will try to pull together a concerted effort to raise money particularly," said Bernie Wong, Chinese American Service League president.

The earthquake sent thousands of people rushing out of buildings and into the streets hundreds of miles away in Beijing and Shanghai.

The quake was felt as far away as Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand.

It struck about 60 miles northwest of Chengdu in the middle of the afternoon when classrooms and office towers were filled.

The quake affecting telephone and power networks. Relief efforts have started.

"All the roads to the center to the earthquake are blocked, so it's very, very difficult to transport these relief goods to the victims," said Huixun Zhang, consulate general of the People's Republic of China.

The earthquake hit less than three months before the start of the Beijing Summer Olympics.

"We hope that with all the support of the various departments, central government, relevant support from provinces and also from friendly countries including the United States,"Zhang said.

The consulate general's office believes they will overcome the disaster with the public and the military working together. Chinese officials have called on all government departments involved in disaster relief to work to organize immediate first aid for the people to ensure public safety.

The state council has established temporary headquarters for disaster relief responsible for helping with rescue work, medical care, security information and other tasks.

To donate visit: http://www.mercycorps.org/

Load Comments