China is a country profoundly impacted by natural disasters.
On May 12, 2008, a devastating earthquake hit Wenchuan county in southwestern
China’s Sichuan province. It inflicted massive casualties and caused
immeasurable material loss and mental suffering to the region and the
Drawing lessons from this bitter experience, in the past 11 years, China has
made great progress in the development of disaster prevention and mitigation
procedures. The country began to pool resources to reduce rather than only
relieving disasters. Significant advances have been made in various fields,
including institutional development, academic research, technical equipment
manufacturing, medical treatment, international cooperation and public
The “big move” in institutional reform has also grabbed nationwide attention.
In March of 2018, China established the Ministry of Emergency Management,
integrating related functions of 13 different departments. Previous experiences
had demonstrated China’s lack of unified strength and collective efficiency in
emergency response scenarios, but now the establishment of the Ministry of
Emergency Management has improved the situation on an institutional level.
Specifically, a single department is responsible for prevention, response and
rescue, as well as post-monitoring of emergencies. With its ongoing development,
the Ministry of Emergency Management will gather the concerted efforts of the
whole country to further improve China’s ability to respond to natural disasters
in the future.
In recent years, China Earthquake Administration (CEA) has been devoted to
conquering technological challenges in earthquake early warnings, and has been
testing available technologies. Under the National Key Science &Technology
Pillar Program on earthquake researches, CEA has independently developed core
technologies for earthquake early warnings. Model warning systems have been
piloted in Fujian Province, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Lanzhou in Gansu
Province, and the border area between Sichuan and Yunnan Province, among which
Jinjiang in Fujian Province has been made a model city for earthquake early
warning system distribution.
In 2018, the China International Emergency Medical Team (in Sichuan) was
classified as a Type 3 emergency medical team by the World Health Organization.
This is the highest level in WHO's EMT initiative, and the team was the second
in the world to obtain such a status.
Although nature shows no mercy, every single step made in disaster
prevention, reduction and relief will translate to improved safety and greater
protection of life and property.