June 5th, 2008 | Published in Google News
The devastating earthquake hit China’s Sichuan province at 2:28 pm on May 12. I was so worried: there was no news about what had happened shortly after the earthquake, and even worse, I was unable to reach my parents in my home town there. It was not until 2 hours later that my call to my parents finally got through, to find that, luckily, they were all safe. Despite my own good fortune, I could not help crying even in public for all the friends in my home town, whether known or unknown. The catastrophic impact was far more than the media could describe.
When the earthquake happened, we, as humans, felt ourselves to be so weak and helpless. However, as the rescue and recovery plans started, people found there was so much they wanted to do. The government, rescuers from around the world and indeed the whole nation have joined together to recover from this unpredictable disaster. Many of my colleagues in Google China helped to start several initiatives in response. The reaction to this misfortune has been overwhelmingly loving and positive. So far, the value of aid donated nationally and internationally has exceeded more than 6 billion USD.
As we, the Google News team in Shanghai, witnessed events, we had a strong desire to help keep people informed with in-depth coverage of the unfolding crisis. So we created a special section in the China edition of Google News to cover the earthquake. The section also contains a link near the top of the page which directs readers to a Checkout Donations page where they can make donations to people in need.
News carries the message, passes on stories of adversity and hope, and relieves the hardship. There’s still a lot of work to do, but we think that by spreading news about this tragedy, we can help connect people who care about it.
An aftershock of 5.3 magnitude struck Sichuan today, June 5, 2008. As of today, the China earthquake death toll has risen to over 69,100.
Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Sichuanese.