The first group of 158 Chinese were safely evacuated from hurricane-destroyed Dominica, Sept. 22, 2017. （Photo/Screenshot of CGTN)）
The statement, "I'm grateful for my country," may sound like a movie line from a patriotic film, yet it is the only thing that Hu Feng and his wife wanted to say after they were successfully evacuated from the hurricane-destroyed island of Dominica with their 20-day-old baby.
"I have nothing left," said Hu, who ran a Chinese restaurant in Dominica, after Hurricane Maria ripped through the island on September 18.
"But it's good enough that we are still alive!"
Hurricane Maria hit the country as a category four storm last week, leaving 15 dead, with the whole island in mass destruction and cut off from electricity and telecommunications.
Ricardo Rossello, governor of the island said the hurricane is "the most devastating storm in a century" and the damage it did to the electricity grid would take months to restore power," according to BBC reports.
Over 400 overseas Chinese and employees working for Chinese enterprises were stuck in the 750-square-kilometer island. On Friday, after days of joint efforts from embassies and institutes in Central America and back home, the first group of 158 Chinese were safely evacuated and resettled in the neighboring country, Antigua and Barbuda.
Normally it takes about 40 minutes to fly between the two countries. But, the destruction left transport by boats to be the only option, which takes about six hours one way.
"The Chinese Embassy in Dominica arranged emergency shelter for us. After the hurricane, water, electricity and telecommunication were cut off, yet the embassy provided us with water and food," Ding Jindong, an employee from China Qingjian Co.Lit based in Dominica, told CCTV.
"We can feel how strong our country is. I really appreciate what our country and government did for us," he added.
This evacuation caused many to remember the touching scene from hit film "Wolf Warrior 2" released months ago. The character played by actor Wu Jing, together with the Chinese Navy, spared no efforts in saving Chinese nationals stuck in a war-torn country in Africa.
That scene was not fictional, as it was adapted from a real event in 2011, the year the first civil war broke out in Libya.
The Chinese government evacuated 35,860 Chinese nationals within eight days, helping them stop in Athens first and then back to China.
That was the largest-scale evacuation for Chinese nationals in history.
In 2006, 310 were evacuated from Solomon; In 2015, 629 were evacuated from Yemen; In 2016, 125 were evacuated from New Zealand after an earthquake shocked the country.
"The importance of your passport isn't determined by the numbers of countries you can travel to, but the fact whether you can get out of danger and get back home safely in those key moments," a netizen named Yanshui Heisishen posted on guancha.com