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July 27, 2021

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Shanghai team heads back

A RESCUE team of 16, which traveled to Henan Province from Shanghai to offer support in the aftermath of massive flooding, headed back yesterday to aid with cleanup in the city following Typhoon In-Fa.

Pudong’s Sanqi Emergency Rescue Team received a call for help from Zhengzhou authorities on July 19 as waters in the city and its surroundings began to rise. The next morning a group of 16 set off in six vehicles for Henan carrying lifeboats and other rescue equipment, including an underwater robot.

When the team arrived on July 20 it helped with the rescue effort in Henan’s capital, rescuing people stuck inside housing complexes. On July 24, it headed to Xinxiang, about 100 kilometers north of the city, where thousands remained stranded in villages situated along the Weihe River. 

The team members spent two days rescuing citizens trapped when the river burst its banks. Many people in the village ignored early warnings to leave, telling local officials they did not expect the water would rise much higher than 30 centimeters. 

Dozens of rescue teams from all over China, including the Pudong Sanqi team, quickly went to work rescuing citizens who had been stuck for days, many without water, food or medication. 

Their efforts were mainly concentrated on Gouxi, Feng and Wangguanzhuang villages where thousands needed to be brought back to dry land. 

By July 25, the Pudong rescue team had already helped rescue some 6,000 people. 

Xu Jun, the team’s leader, told Shanghai Daily, that 80 percent of the team members are retired veterans with extensive rescue training, while others have specialist expertise such as medical training. 

“Our rescue team has 50 people in total. Many stayed back in Shanghai anticipating the typhoon,” he said. “Half of the team remains in Shanghai just in case.”

The entire crew members are volunteers but also hold full-time jobs back in Shanghai, meaning many need to ask for leave when situations like the Henan floods arise. “I run a security company, and we have a hairdresser and so on,” Xu said. “All of our team’s workplaces are very supportive of us coming to help out.” 

The drive back to Shanghai will take about 11 hours. “We have to drive slowly because of all our gear on the back.”

Wang Juzhen, manager of the Yijia Hotel in Xinxiang where the team stayed, said they were “extremely professional and well-mannered.”


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