Quake prompts disaster preparedness discussion

Updated: 2013-04-28 01:08


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After the 2008 quake, which occurred in Sichuan's Wenchuan county, risk prevention and disaster reduction training became compulsory in local schools. Emergency evacuation, fire prevention and earthquake rescue exercises are regularly held in schools.

During the Lushan quake, 3,800 students at the Mingshan First Middle School escaped safely with no injuries.

However, students at the Lushan Middle School reacted in a more disorganized manner as a result of differing disaster preparedness training.

Quake prompts disaster preparedness discussionLi said disaster preparedness and first aid training should be compulsory not only in Sichuan, but around the country.

"If a devastating earthquake happened in Yunnan, Xinjiang or the North China Plain, I doubt residents there could respond and reduce its impact as quickly as Sichuan's people did," Li said.

Experts are urging the government to create a system that can help people in different areas to cope with different natural disasters.

"China's southeast coast is vulnerable to typhoons and floods, while the west is more likely to suffer landslides and earthquakes. People should know how to protect themselves under different circumstances," said Qu.

He said police officers, school principals and company managers should all be trained as "first responders."

Netizens have been busy posting articles online detailing methods for escaping earthquakes since the Lushan earthquake occurred. However, some of the articles are incorrect or misleading.

Qu said the government should establish professional institutions that can offer training courses and promote disaster preparedness knowledge.

"People can only learn the skills they need to survive and stay calm during disasters by participating in repeated drills," Qu said.

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