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Mother's pain tinged with hope
By Bao Xingyan (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-05 01:02

Li Anlin sits at home with her husband crying for her missing 22-year-old daughter.

Relatives and friends try to comfort her, but this mother's sorrow -- with no news from the beautiful college student Wang Ting caught up in the tsunami that hit Phuket, Thailand -- is heavy in Li's Nanjing home.

"People living on our street have come to see me," Li said. "Although there's been no information, I still believe there's a chance... Wang Ting had a chance to survive."

About a dozen Chinese mainlanders remain missing in the tidal wave-hit areas. The missing number of Hong Kong residents dropped to 62 through yesterday. The 58 missing school children were all found safe yesterday. Only one of is still in Thailand, but was reported fine.

Li's daughter was born in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province on November 2, 1983, and grew up a very pretty girl.

Wang Ting had been studying at a Bangkok University since she graduated from high school, where she had majored in tourism.

On December 24, together with her Japanese boyfriend, the couple flew to Phuket Island to spend a romantic Christmas getaway.

On Christmas Day, she called a schoolmate and said she was staying in a little beachhouse bungalow, just six metres from the beautiful surf.

After the terrible tsunami hit the next day, Wang and her boyfriend have not been heard from since.

Her family and friends have heard nothing. They have spared no effort to look for the young woman.

Her father Wang Shugui flew to Phuket and visited every hospital, every international organization and local government agency, vainly vain attempting to find his precious daughter.

Wang says he will return there if any information -- any at all -- surfaces.

In the meantime, he and neighbours, colleagues and friends comfort his wife, Li, but sadness envelopes their house.

While Wang's family awaits an outcome, Zhu Qixia, a survivor of the tsunami, is trying to recover at home in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.

As the secretary of a local Taiwan business leader's association, Zhu went to Phuket Island on the evening of December 24 with a travel group made up of business people and their relatives.

"She now doctors herself mainly for the psychological trauma she suffered from the disaster," said one of her female colleagues, surnamed Lu.

According to Lu, Zhu was sent to a local hospital on last December 28 when she got back from Thailand.

Not seriously injured physically, she was deeply upset.

"The government leaders and the head of the association have visited Zhu's home, and our leader said she could rest as long as she wanted," Lu added.

However, the association does not want people to visit Zhu's home or call her.

"She wants to recover and go back to her post as soon as possible," Lu said.

She also said 26 members were in the travel group, including 19 Taiwan business leaders and seven relatives.

Through yesterday, all surviving group members were back in Suzhou or Taiwan, five people were confirmed dead, including an elderly Suzhou couple.

Overall, the Chinese death toll stood at a dozen yesterday, though three more Hong Kong residents with foreign nationalities were confirmed dead.

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