Encoffiners bow to the victims of the capsized ship accident before the body make-up at the funeral parlour in Jianli, central China's Hubei Province, June 9, 2015. (Photo: Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)
Since the June 1 cruise ship tragedy on China's Yangtze River, foreign media have spoken highly of the country's swift and effective reaction to the historically rare mishap.[Special coverage]
The Eastern Star cruise ship with 456 people onboard was on an 11-day trip along the Yangtze River when it was overturned by a tornado on June 1 in Jianli. The death toll has risen to 434.
CHINA ATTACHES GREAT IMPORTANCE, MAKES ALL-OUT RESCUE EFFORTS
"We can see clearly the enormous strides the country has made in managing emergencies and sudden tragedies. The Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, was on the scene within 24 hours. A large-scale rescue effort was quickly organized. And the tragedy was covered in the official media," the U.S. media Fortune said in an article posted on its website on June 3.
"Chinese authorities have been quick to take action, putting their emphasis on efforts to save possible survivors. President Xi Jinping has ordered all out rescue efforts... Premier Li Keqiang traveled to the site of the accident," said the Voice of America (VOA).
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang gave instructions on search and rescue work in heavy rain on the site of overturned ship "Eastern Star" in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei Province, the website of Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao reported.
Premier Li instructed the soldiers to overcome difficulties to rescue the people. Many of the soldiers' tents were filled with muddy water as it was raining heavily, said the newspaper.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and other senior officials arrived Tuesday (June 2) at the site of the disaster to oversee the large-scale emergency response, CNN reported on June 2.
"To help with the rescue effort, authorities reduced the amount of water being discharged from the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydroelectric plant, which is upstream from the sunken ship," the TV network quoted Chinese state media as saying.
More than 4,000 people and 110 vessels have taken part in the search and rescue, Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuantang was quoted as saying. He added that divers have been called in from all around the country.
A report published on June 3 by Spain's El Pais newspaper said that "with the time passed, hopes to find more passengers decreased, though Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuantang said that as long as there is a gleam of hope, China will not give up."
As a sign of openness, the Chinese government allowed a handful of reporters to visit the scene of rescue efforts Wednesday (June 3) on the Yangtze River, where the ship with 456 passengers and crew overturned during a violent storm on Monday (June 1) night, noted New York Times on June 4.
CONSOLING BEREAVED FAMILIES, CONDUCTING SERIOUS INVESTIGATION
The Chinese people are all "united in wishing for the safe and speedy recovery of the hundreds still missing. Countless social media users have shared images of hands clasped in prayer... They (the victims) left from a good spot. But natural disasters can't be controlled," the U.S. journal Foreign Policy said on June 2.
"The biggest nautical tragedy in China in nearly seven decades has transformed this largely agriculture-based city (Jianli) of 155,000 from a sleepy backwater into a hub of hectic activity. More than 1,200 relatives and friends of the Eastern Star's passengers have arrived in the city in Hubei Province, along with thousands of rescue workers, troops, volunteers and rubberneckers," the Wall Street Journal said in an article.