Asia – A Week in Pictures August 15, 2010
Flooding and mudslides have again dominated the week’s coverage in Asia. Reports that one fifth of Pakistan is now under water and over 20 million have been affected by the rising waters. In the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu over a 1000 people lost their lives as a mudslide swept through the town of Zhouqu. It is easy to become visually tired looking at images of people wading waist deep in flood water or seeing another image of a relative weeping for a loved one. In the pictures below even the most jaded eyes and souls must feel the passion of the pictures as photographers tell the story and bring home the desperation of their subject’s plight.
Adrees Latif, chief photographer Pakistan, captures a moment that if it wasn’t so sad would almost be funny. People, whose lives have been shattered by flooding, loss of their homes, hunger and the risk of disease suffer the final humiliation as a relief truck sweeps by driving water over their heads, the driver oblivious of the scene. In another picture in a camp for the displaced Karachi based photographer Akhtar Soomro photographs a boy sitting in isolation who hurriedly eats, his eyes glaring out of the image as he keeps guard in case someone, imagined or real, tries to steal his food.
Residents being evacuated through flood waters dodge an army truck carrying relief supplies for flood victims in Pakistan’s Muzaffargarh district in Punjab province August 11, 2010. The floods have ploughed a swathe of destruction more than 1,000 km (600 miles) long from northern Pakistan to the south, killing more than 1,600 people. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
A boy fleeing from flooded village eats his food handout in a makeshift relief camp in Sukkur at Pakistan’s Sindh province August 10, 2010. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari returned home on Tuesday from official foreign visits to a chorus of criticism over his government’s response to the country’s worst flooding in 80 years. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
Shanghai based photographer Aly Song, flew, drove and then finally hiked the final 5 miles into the mudslide stricken town of Zhouqu. Working closely with stringers, Aly and the team produced images that scream from the page; a man bent over and standing in isolation, holds his head in sheer grief as the search and rescue carries on behind him. The image of the girl in the red dress stopped me in my tracks as I remembered haunting ”red dress” scenes in the mainly black and white Spielberg film “Schindler’s List”. Two other striking images from Zhouqu are the workers resting, dwarfed by the crumpled buildings in the background and the faceless rescue workers, heads bowed, wearing full protection against airborne disease, listening to instructions from their leaders, who to me appear resigned in the accepted knowledge that they are no longer looking for survivors, but are to be employed to try and stop disease spreading from the decaying bodies.
A man mourns his missing relatives in the landslide-hit Zhouqu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province August 10, 2010. Engineers battled on Tuesday to drain an unstable lake created by the country’s deadliest landslide in decades, threatening new misery for a devastated northwestern China town if it bursts its banks. REUTERS/Aly Song
A girl stands on the debris of damaged buildings in landslide-hit Zhouqu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province August 10, 2010. At least 702 people died in northwestern Gansu province when a torrent of mud and rocks engulfed swathes of the small town of Zhouqu at the weekend, and another 1,042 are missing, an emergency relief official, Tian Baozhong, told reporters there. Picture taken August 10, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer
Rescuers rest on a landslide-hit street in Zhouqu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province August 12, 2010. The risk of fresh downpours threatened more misery on Wednesday for a Chinese town devastated by a landslide and further threatened by an unstable lake behind a barrier of mud. REUTERS/Aly Song
Rescuers prepare to disinfect a landslide-hit street in Zhouqu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province August 11, 2010. At least 702 people died in northwestern Gansu province when a torrent of mud and rocks engulfed swathes of the small town of Zhouqu at the weekend, and another 1,042 are missing, an emergency relief official, Tian Baozhong, told reporters there. REUTERS/Aly Song
India celebrated Independence Day with speeches and military parades with the backdrop of daily clashes between stone throwing protesters and security forces and mudslides in Kashmir. B Mathur’s picture of India’s Prime Minister Singh looks almost surreal as Singh makes his address to the nation from behind a bullet proof glass cage making him look almost like an exhibition piece. In Srinagar thousands protested the day prior to the Independence celebration, a curfew was then re-imposed. Fayaz Kabli’s image of the policeman’s shadow cast over the rock strewn road hinting at the heat of day’s violence. In complete contrast Mukesh Gupta pictures have a sense of cold and quiet calm as the light of the candles during a vigil for those who died in mudslides provide the only warmth in the grey scene of mudslide destruction in Leh.
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addresses the nation from a bullet-proof enclosure at the historic Red Fort during Independence Day celebrations in Delhi August 15, 2010. REUTERS/B Mathur
An Indian policeman walks on a road covered with stones and pieces of bricks thrown by protesters in Srinagar August 13, 2010. Tens of thousands of people participated in an anti-India march led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Kashmir’s chief cleric and a senior separatist leader. Jamia Masjid, Srinagar’s main mosque was thrown open for Friday prayers for the first time after it was shut down for weeks by Indian forces. REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli
People holding candles walk on a damaged road during a candlelight vigil for the victims of Friday’s flash floods in Leh, east of Srinagar, August 11, 2010. At least 156 people have been killed and scores remained missing from last week’s floods triggered by heavy rains that destroyed homes and architecture in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta
Japan, considered to be the world’s second biggest economy is under pressure as the Yen to US dollar exchange rate broke the 85 mark. Good pictures of economic stories are traditionally very hard to master but Tokyo based photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon produced two beautifully composed images that illustrate the twists and turns of the story, the Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa making visual curves as he swerves past chairs as he leaves after a news conference and a street picture illustrating market prices, the eye drawn in from the black brief case on the left to the traditionally dressed man looking at the board.
Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa leaves a news conference room at its headquarters in Tokyo August 10, 2010. Shirakawa said on Tuesday the central bank’s board spent much time debating the recent rise in the yen and how it could affect business sentiment. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A man wearing the yukata, a traditional Japanese outfit, walks past a stock index board outside a brokerage in Tokyo August 13, 2010. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa may meet as early as next week to discuss the yen’s strength and possible responses, although likely options are seen as limited. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Below is a collection of pictures from the Asia region that are all, in my opinion, worth a second look. From Ramadan food production, palm oil in Indonesia to the opening ceremony of the Youth Olympics in Singapore. Fantastic!
A fishmonger makes a sale at a market in Kuala Lumpur August 14, 2010. Malaysia’s economy is set for a strong rebound this year from recession with near-term prospects for the economy favorable, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday, forecasting growth of close to seven per cent this year. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad
A worker carries a cow’s head at the Cakung slaughterhouse in Jakarta August 13, 2010. The Cakung abattoir, which is the biggest for cow and buffalo in Indonesia, slaughters about 110 heads of cattle a day during the holy month of Ramadan, a number that will increase to 700 cattle a day before Eid al-Fitr, a slaughterhouse official said on Friday. REUTERS/Beawiharta
People are reflected in the window in a shop displaying sweets as they gather at Chakbazaar to buy food for Iftar in Dhaka August 12, 2010. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj
A labourer unloads sacks of sugar from a truck at a wholesale food market in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad August 13, 2010. Indian spot sugar prices rose on Friday after government allowed millers to resell sugar that they had imported in the overseas markets, dealers said. REUTERS/Amit Dave
An aerial view shows a palm oil factory at a palm oil plantation in Indonesia’s Jambi province August 5, 2010. Indonesia may propose palm oil plantations be eligible to earn carbon credit under a U.N.-backed scheme aimed at preserving forests, a foresttry ministry official said on Monday. Environmentalists have for years expressed concerns over Indonesia’s palm oil producers and whether they have cleared forests to expand their plantations. Picture taken on August 5, 2010. REUTERS/Beawiharta
A North Korean boat is seen on the Yalu River on a hazy day near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, August 10, 2010. REUTERS/Jacky Chen
A combination of satellite images shows Nowshera, Pakistan, and the surrounding area in October 7, 2007 (L), and on August 5, 2010 (R), after the surrounding area became flooded as captured by DigitalGlobe satellite and released to Reuters on August 13, 2010. Floods, triggered by torrential monsoon downpours, have engulfed Pakistan’s Indus river basin, killing more than 1,600 people, forcing two million from their homes and disrupting the lives of 14 million people, or 8 percent of the population. REUTERS/DigitalGlobe/Handout
Young gymnasts, in a class consisting of four to seven-year-olds, stretch themselves on wooden bars at the gymnastics hall of a sports school in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province August 10, 2010. Chinese officials insist tough new eligibility rules will put a stop to the type of “age cheat” scandal that saw a gymnast stripped of her Olympic medal. REUTERS/Stringer
Sixteen-year-old Darren Choy of Singapore runs with the Youth Olympic torch on his way to light the cauldron during the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore August 14, 2010. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Finally as I would like to draw attention to the graphic designed by Brice Hall explaining the complex situation of competing territorial claims in the South China Sea to accompany this special report last week.