BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- It may be beyond human capacity to prevent natural disasters such as the recent massive mudslide in Zhouqu county, Gansu province, but if earnest effort is put into overcoming the devastation, both physically and psychologically, then that will make all the difference.
Intense precipitation of 97 mm in a span of just 40 minutes on Saturday night has been confirmed as the chief cause of this deadly mudslide that has claimed more than 700 lives and left more than 1,000 people missing.
Geologically speaking, this is a landslide prone area. Moreover, the Wenchuan earthquake of May 2008 had made the mountainsides vulnerable to landslides.
And, a severe drought early this spring added to the possibility of the mountainsides coming loose when pelted by severe rain. All these things are, of course, beyond human control.
Timely search operations have led to the rescue of more than 1,000 survivors from under the rubble and mud. The local government has also beefed up initiatives aimed at helping local residents deal with the psychological effects of the trauma and carry on.
The affected residents not only need relief material, such as sleeping bags, tents and folding beds, but also some psychological comfort and encouragement that will help them look at life beyond the calamity in as positive a manner as possible.
Psychological experts are needed to counsel the victims, especially those who have lost their loved ones to the disaster.
The psychological impact of such a stressful event will no doubt linger for a long time to come, and it is important that this be addressed as quickly as possible.
Reconstruction efforts and measures to clear the accumulated silt and water levels are certainly difficult tasks.
And, the participation of local residents in the endeavor will make a great difference.