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Chinese rescue team arrives in Japan
As China lends its expertise to Japanese rescue efforts, netizens react to the crisis
Despite still dealing with its own natural disasters, China has swiftly despatched a rescue team to assist quake relief operations in Japan.
The 15-strong Chinese International Search and Rescue Team flew to Tokyo's Haneda Airport, carrying four tons of materials and equipment, including power supply and telecommunications gear, according to a report in Shanghai Daily.
The team spent little time in Tokyo after landing on Sunday, quickly heading to harder-hit areas to search for survivors.
The quake, the largest in Japan’s history, was felt in Shanghai and neighboring provinces, as buildings swayed, reminding many of the shocks caused by the Sichuan earthquake in 2008.
The Shanghai Seismological Bureau says that the disaster, which struck over 2,200 kilometers away, won’t have any lasting affect on the city.
"Since the quake was so strong, some residents, especially those in high-rises, felt the quake and called our bureau," Wang Jianjun, Shanghai Seismological Bureau vice director, told reporters.
"The power from this earthquake is more than 10 times that of the devastating quake which hit Wenchuan in Sichuan Province in 2008. Wenchuan is some 1,600 kilometers from Shanghai, so more people felt the quake that time."
The city reported that all Shanghai students in Toyko were reportedly safe, as are the 4,578 Chinese tourists in the country, according to state media reports.
All too familiar with the devastation that earthquakes can cause, many Chinese netizens expressed their support for Japanese victims of the disaster, while a few voices celebrated a long-time rival’s misfortune.
But such comments were quickly countered by the majority online who sympathize with Japan's plight.
“The entire world will look at the reaction of Chinese people, can you please not make us lose face?” asked user Guannei Shuaige. “Don’t forget that only yesterday Yunnan had an earthquake. Do you want to completely lose face for Chinese people?”
User fsy1987 supported the sentiment: “First, I hope there isn’t too much damage. Second, I really regret seeing some people taking pleasure from this disaster. Third, the Japanese are surprisingly calm and orderly when facing an earthquake. I saw photographs on Sina of people coming out of the subway station, and they were still lining up. Fourth, one must learn common earthquake knowledge, to be prepared. Fifth, treasure every minute every second of life.”
Just hours after the disaster, news of the quake was splatted across Chinese websites, becoming the third-ranked trending topic of the day on Baidu, according to reporter Adam Minter on Foreign Policy, with 2.5 million searches for "Japan earthquake" as of 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 11.