Chinese rescue teams bring warmth to Lao people in disaster-hit area
By Sun Guangyong from People’s Daily
When more than 13,000 people in 13 villages of Laos were threatened by a flood caused by the dam collapse on a July night, the Chinese rescue teams warmed up the disaster-hit locals with a helpful hand.
China’s Blue Sky Rescue (BSR) team, a non-governmental professional rescue organization, volunteered to take part in the rescue mission at the first moment after learning the dam collapse in Snamsai County of Attapeu Province on July 23.
The head of BSR’s Thailand unit Yin Yandong, leader of the BSR advance team Pi Jianjun, doctor Tao Chengcheng and a volunteer reached the disaster-hit area on the morning of July 27, and the team also dispatched four vehicles, four boats and 20 aid workers in two groups to the area, who rescued 9 stranded citizens that day.
In order to transfer a child in Banbo village who had run a fever for four days to the district hospital, Yin and other rescuers raced against time and danger by driving the car with a top speed in the mud.
“We only hope to reduce their loss as much as possible through our efforts,” said Yin.
The devastating flood, especially the sludge formed after that, made the rescue especially difficult, Yin told People’s Daily, adding that the rescuers could only walk to the area as the boats could not get through the sludge.
Every step took a lot of efforts, said the team leader, explaining that in the last two days, the rescuers had to crawl forward in the mud, which was a severe test both physically and psychologically.
Despite this, the rescuers, upholding the spirit to never give up and leave no one behind, kept on searching for the affected people, Yin noted.
“We see hope as we see the rescuers in blue,” said a local villager.
After the BSR entered the disaster-hit area as the first non-governmental rescue team, it dispatched over 80 rescuers to fight against the disaster day and night.
Apart from BSR, other Chinese rescue forces also played a crucial role in the disaster relief, such as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) medical team, the Rescue Team of Ram Union, non-governmental voluntary organizations in Guizhou, Xiamen, Beijing and the 9958 emergency rescue platform. They all headed for the disaster area in Laos immediately after the disaster took place.
A friend in need is a friend indeed. China lent a hand to Laos right away after the disaster, which once again reflects the deep friendship between the two governments and the two peoples, said Lao Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Baikham Khattiya.
The Lao government and people are grateful for that, and will never forget China’s strong support, she noted.