Siao Wang, an offshore ICMS student became an online sensation after he traveled overnight to help the Zhengzhou community through torrential flooding.
In his own words, Siao said “一方有难八方支援”, which is a famous phrase in Chinese that means “if one needs help, help should attend from 8 directions“. And help is exactly what Siao did.
Unable to continue his studies within Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Siao – like many international students – is currently at home in China but hopes to complete his studies in Sydney as soon as possible.
The story of Siao’s heroic efforts to help the Zhengzhou began when he and a group of friends travelled over four hours from Nanyang (their city) to Zhengzhou, in a 280km drive. The brave and compassionate young men are being praised on social media, and their story is going viral. (see below)
The group of boys paid for their own supplies and travelled together to Zhengzhou. Fearing their parent’s concern, they didn’t tell their families of their intention to volunteer until after they had already spent hours helping the Zhengzhou community to escape the rising waters. After being up all night, Siao finally phoned his parents to let them know he was safe. Camera crews captured the moment he told his mother, “It’s okay, you can go to sleep.”
At least 100,000 people had to be evacuated from Zhengzhou, an industrial and transport hub, and rail and road links were disrupted. Dams and reservoirs swelled and water inundated tunnels and underground links. Many people were pulled to safety after a subway tunnel flooded, and social media images showed train commuters immersed in chest-deep waters in the dark. “The water reached my chest,” one survivor wrote on social media. “I was really scared, but the most terrifying thing was not the water, but the diminishing air supply in the carriage.”
There have been at least seventy deaths as a result of the flood according to reports from one news outlet. Many people are still missing and displaced within China’s Henan province. The heavy downfall has impacted 11.45 million residents across the province, said the deputy head of the emergency management department.
Over 1.31 million people have been located to safer locations and over 850,000 hectares of crop have been affected.
“We are all touched by Siao’s selflessness,” said Agatha Chan, Associate Vice President of ICMS International Offshore Students.
“Volunteering yourself to such tremendous rescue task is never an easy job but Siao did it and we are so proud of him. We wish Siao and everyone in Zhengzhou safety and we’ll pray for those who have lost their loved ones in the flood.”
Siao’s story also resonated with Toniel Leung, ICMS Head of Creative, who posted on his LinkedIn, “We are proud of you Siao Wang, as an ICMS student, and more so as a proud brave Chinese! I personally can’t wait to welcome you back to ICMS campus and shake your hand.”
The rescue had a number of volunteers with 5,290 soldiers, 30,000 police officers, 164,000 volunteers and over 400,000 officials and Communist Party of China members, over 5,000 rescuers from outside Henan are working at the forefront.
We are so proud to have Siao as part of our ICMS community and can’t wait to have him back on-campus in the future.
Click the button below to watch the video in Chinese.