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A Man and A Woman in Earthquake (1)

10 May 2009

(1) During the Earthquake

He was a 30-year old man named Lei Xiaohai (雷小海) and he had a wife and a son; she was a 33-year old woman named Wu Cuihua (吴翠华) and she had a husband and a daughter. He owned a spectacle shop in Beichuan County Town, and she ran a shoe store opposite to his shop. He addressed her as Big Sister Wu, and she called him Big Spectacle. They were good friends for years, and they might just be good friends forever.

Then came a fateful moment.

On May 12, 2008, at 28 minutes past 2pm, the most powerful earthquake ever known to mankind erupted, and the man and the woman were buried underneath the collapsed buildings with more than a dozen people. The world suddenly sank into a total darkness and silence, saving the big clock in the market that was still ticking and chimed aloud at each hour.

After the clock chimed for many times, and for many many times, the life in the darkness gradually faded away, and eventually all died, except that man and that woman.

The remaining two were just about a metre away from each other, and they could even stretch their arms out of the rubble, but they were unable to free themselves from the tight space between the debris respectively. So they kept talking to each other to make sure both were alive; and they talked about how to locate their families and rebuild their lives.

The smell of dust from the building wreckage and the slowly decomposed dead bodies made each breath difficult and dangerous. The man began coughing, violently, and the woman found a pack of throat soothing pills from her pocket and handed it to him.

"No way, I won't take it, that's for women," the man refused.

So the woman kept the pills, and the man kept coughing. After the man coughed for another 24 hours, he bowed to his fate - when the woman urged him to take the pill again, he accepted.

But the man still coughed; and the woman's consciousness started to drift away. When the big clock chimed for the 72 time, then for the 73 time, then for the 74 time, then for the 75 time, she resigned to the thought that no one would ever appear in the field of ruin. And then, after the clock bell struck for the 76 time, she heard a human voice, which was not from the man, and which was not within the rubble.

(2) The Earthquake Aftermath

(Source of in/photos: 姜燕, 周馨 from 新民晚报)

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Chinese Spirit of Resilience

A young woman at a minority ethnic Qiang village in Lueyang County (略阳县九中金乡“陕南氐羌民俗村) resumes her black fungi farm business after the destructive earthquake on 12 May 2008.

Her new village built by an add group from Tianjin.

A new home in the village

(Source of info/photos: 陶明 from

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