SF tries to help China quake victims

May 14, 2008 9:29:52 AM PDT
The U.S. is offering half a million dollars in initial aid to China. Here in the Bay Area, local community organizations are busy collecting donations.

"As you can tell, one picture tells a thousand words," says Peter Ho, from the World Journal.

The earthquake is dominating the pages of the World Journal. It's one of the Bay Area's leading Chinese language newspapers. Many in the community are relying on this coverage.

"We actually get very firsthand information regarding earthquake in Sichuan and according to them on the front line, it's such chaos," says Ho.

In China on Tuesday, it's time to find the dead. There are tens of thousands of victims trapped under what used to be buildings. Thousands of them are children. At least eight schools collapsed when the quake struck Monday. Some survivors are being found, one day after they were buried.

Most are dazed and confused, like one man who slowly recalls how he received his horrible bruises.

"I was on a bridge he told me, I don't know who saved me," said the man.

It was a bridge of concrete and steel that crashed, along with everyone on it, into the river below.

At SFO on Tuesday, flights arrived from Beijing. Most passengers told us they felt nothing where they were, but Joe Conway says his office building got a good jolt.

"It felt like we were getting sick. We weren't sure what was going on. Then people were out on the streets, thousands of people near my building. We realized it was an earthquake," said Conway.

China's prime minister and 40,000 soldiers are leading the relief effort near the epicenter, but many roads have buckled making it difficult to reach the hardest hit areas.

Back here at home, World Journal has set up a disaster relief fund. One of many Chinese organizations around the bay and nation who are mobilizing to help.

"We'll provide a lot of help as we can do to help the people to cure this matter," said Ho.

Tuesday, Mayor Gavin Newsom expressed his condolences and said the city administrator, Ed Lee, will lead San Francisco's efforts to help. The mayor also says a team will go to China to learn what we can about earthquake preparation and response.

Local and international aid efforts:
worldjournal.com
www.sichuanfolks.org


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