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Author Topic: 7.8 magnitude earthquake in China buries hundreds
Nato
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/12/china-earthquake-buries-9_n_101273.html
quote:
BEIJING Chinese media say the earthquake death toll in one Sichuan county is estimated at 3,000 to 5,000 people.

The powerful earthquake struck central China on Monday, trapping nearly 900 students after their school collapsed, state media reported.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit central China, but sent thousands of people rushing out of buildings and into the streets hundreds of miles away in Beijing and Shanghai. The temblor was felt as far away as Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that four of the dead were ninth-grade students killed when their high school collapsed. Photos showed heavy cranes trying to remove rubble from the ruined school. Xinhua did not say how many of the students were feared dead.

It said its reporters in Juyuan township, about 60 miles from the epicenter, saw buried teenagers struggling to break loose from underneath the rubble of the three-story building "while others were crying out for help."

Two girls were quoted by Xinhua as saying they escaped because they had "run faster than others."

...

The earthquake struck in the middle of the afternoon when classes and office towers were full, about 60 miles northwest of Chengdu. There were several smaller aftershocks, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site.


.....

Oh dear. It's been a bad week or two for natural disasters.

Edit: death toll apparently up to 7,000

[ May 12, 2008, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: Nato ]

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Mucus
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Shanghaiist breaking news updates

This thread is updated every few minutes it seems with new information, pictures, and video. Some from bloggers and twitter apparently.

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rivka
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[Frown]
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pooka
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What to say? I turned off the radio this morning after hearing estimates for Myanmar were up to 100,000.
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RackhamsRazor
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Does anyone know if people were injured in and around Shanghai? There is a large group of vet students from my class visiting the area and I assume they are ok, but I don't know for sure.
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fugu13
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The quake was far from Shanghai, so they should be okay.
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RackhamsRazor
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Thanks
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Zanejin
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Shanghai is definitely fine. My father, who works there, felt the quakes, but no one was hurt there.
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Valentine014
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Oy. We will be having another busy week at the Red Cross, I see.
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Shan
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The coverage on NPR of this is heart-breaking. [Frown]
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Eaquae Legit
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I hear you, Shan. The news radio today was saying how calls are beginning for "covert aid drops" because the government in Myanmar is blocking shipments. I'm appalled.
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Mucus
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quote:
A quake of 5.0 magnitude was measured this morning at 7:19am at the epicentre and this afternoon at 15:07pm a 6.1 magnitude quake hit, hampering the ongoing rescue efforts in the region.

Latest estimates put the possible death toll at more than 10,000 although this figure looks set to rise given the remoteness of some of the areas hit. In the worst effected areas, numerous buildings have collapsed trapping people under the rubble. The mountainous terrain, as well as landslides and poor weather, are hampering the efforts of relief services to get to those in need. The Chinese Red Cross has appealed for donations to help with rescue efforts. Japan, Russia, Taiwan, and Germany have been amongst those who have offered assistance while the Li Ka Shing foundation has donated 30 million RMB and Carrefour 2 million RMB.

Shanghaiist second days updates

Two more smaller earthquakes in Sichuan, that cannot be good [Frown]

(Historically, this is being compared to the smaller 7.5 earthquake in Tangshan, China in 1976 that killed more than 255,000 people. This was estimated at 7.8.
China occupies an uneviable four out of five positions in the list of the worlds deadliest earthquakes although the actual events are spread out in an area comparable to most of western Europe)

As a point of interest, Li Ka Sing is comparable as the Hong Kong (or Asian for that matter) version of Warren Buffet both in terms of wealth and donations to charity. Carrefour is a French supermarket chain operating in China that was recently involved in controversy for alleged (and denied) support of the Dalai Lama. Their particularly quick support is being seen as a good move to counteract that.

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Mucus
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For Canadians, the Canadian Red Cross ( http://www.redcross.ca ) has setup a fund for the earthquake in China (there is one for Burma as well). I'm sure that the American equivalents are setup/will be setup as well.

RConversation, one of the blogs I've been visiting recently ( http://rconversation.blogs.com/ ) also has a mini-group pledge.

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Mucus
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A fairly large collection of photos from the region has been posted at EastSouthWestNorth
http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20080513_1.htm

Also, it may be worth updating the title since the death toll is at least two orders of magnitude more and even the number of those *specifically buried* is two orders of magnitude larger [Frown]
quote:

Late on Tuesday, a few hundred soldiers reached the epicentre in Wenchuan county, where an estimated 60,000 people remain missing.

They found 500 bodies within a few hours - but have still not searched many devastated areas.

The official death toll is more than 12,000, and looks set to rise sharply.

...

But of an estimated population of around 10,000, only 2,000 residents were found alive, a local official said.

...

In one city, Mianyang, 18,000 people are said to be buried under the rubble, and in nearby Mianzhu, at least 4,800 are reported trapped.

Elsewhere, two schools have collapsed, each trapping nearly 1,000 students and staff.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7399732.stm
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Mucus
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News roundup:

quote:

Almost five million people have been left homeless by Monday's devastating earthquake in China's south-western Sichuan Province, officials say.

They said the extent of the problem only became clear when communications were restored.

So far, 22,069 deaths have been confirmed and thousands remain missing. It is feared up to 50,000 may be dead.
...
The first foreign rescuers have now arrived in the devastated region.

Thirty-one Japanese experts arrived on Friday morning, state media said, and a second team with sniffer dogs was due there later in the day.

Taiwan, Russia, South Korea and Singapore are also sending teams to help in the rescue effort.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7405103.stm

That last bit is worth mentioning (and underscoring) because this is apparently the *first* time that foreign aid crews have been let into China after a disaster, pretty much ever, and the government has launched an uncharacteristically public appeal for aid in the form of tents, medical supplies, shovels, etc.

The BBC and the Economist, among others, have been marking the contrast between the Chinese relief effort and the Burmese, well lack of one in positively glowing terms.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7399004.stm
http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11376935

Some foreign commentators are even comparing the relief effort to the American response to Katrina.

quote:

The efficiency with which the rulers have responded to the massive destruction has been impressive. The 50,000 troops dispatched to Wenchuan, the earthquake's epicentre, have made an immediate impact in helping to rescue trapped survivors and distributing vital food and medical supplies. The operation has been well-managed, with airports closed to civilian traffic so as not to impede relief flights. Television bulletins broadcast appeals for blood donations, and priority has been given to restoring electricity and clearing roads.

Compare the professionalism of the operation with the way the United States, the world's other superpower, responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which killed fewer than 1,000 people but fatally wounded President George W. Bush's reputation for administrative competence.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/05/16/do1603.xml

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/m.s.-bellows/burmas-cyclone-chinas-ear_b_101490.html

While the role that foreign pressure and the Olympics has played in improving transparency and sheer scale of the relief effort is debatable, it is nice to know at least something good is coming out of this over-hyped sports competition. If this Olympics has contributed to making a difference in thousands of lives by encouraging a quick response, then thats certainly one of the bigger benefits of the Olympics over the years, if not the biggest.

There are negative things to report too. Aside from the stories of people involved in the disaster (for those without weak stomachs, I recommend the photo galleries at Shanghaiist or EastSouthWestNorth rather than the rather cleaned up and sanitary ones at the BBC or CNN), there is the usual crowd of tools that like to blame karma/God/whatever. Ranging from crowd at Westboro Baptist Church ( http://shanghaiist.com/2008/05/16/westboro-thank-god-for-earthquake.php ), ordinary 'Free-Tibet' Canadians at newspaper comment boards ( http://www.uglychinesecanadian.com/?p=358 ), or even people in Hong Kong who still seem to bring up 'mandate of heaven' stuff ( http://sun-bin.blogspot.com/2008/05/what-have-they-done-to-deserve-this.html ).

Enough said about that I guess.

On a note of interest, among many others, Jackie Chan has donated more than a million USD in relief funds with Jet Li donating a smaller amount (I guess there goes their Forbidden Kingdom paycheck), US evangelist Franklin Graham has donated $285,000.

On a strange note, the Canadian government has yet to announce any real aid, while the Ontario government has donated about the same as Jackie Chan and the US government has announced about half that amount despite the Chinese government donating about five million to the US during Katrina. Hopefully thats just a bit of an oversight that should be corrected over the next few weeks as world attention is focused more on Burma and cyclone Nargis.

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aspectre
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quote:
...while the link between the Sichuan earthquake and the Zipingpu Dam was not yet proved, work by Christian Klose, a Columbia University researcher specializing in geophysical hazards, suggested the stress caused by the water's weight might have hastened the quake by a few hundred years.
"It would have occurred anyway," Seeber said. "But of course the people who were affected might think the timing is an important difference."
Klose estimated that the weight of the water in the Zipingpu reservoir amounted to 25 times the natural stress that tectonic movements exert in a year. The added pressure, he wrote in an abstract to an unpublished study, "resulted in the Beichaun fault coming close to failure."
...
Officials allowed the reservoir to fill with water in late 2004....from late 2004 to late 2005, the data showed 730 minor earthquakes, with magnitudes of 3 or less.
When the major earthquake struck last May, it originated 3.4 miles from the reservoir. The rupture in the Earth's crust stretched for 185 miles, initially moving in a direction that Klose said was consistent with the pressure from the water's weight.

"The Three Gorges Dam is situated near six active fault lines and above 15 million people."

[ February 06, 2009, 04:16 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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ketchupqueen
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aspectre, do you know how much your thread necromancy scares me sometimes? I freaked out going, "AGAIN???"

Seriously, new thread! [Wink]

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aspectre
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"...artificial lake upstream of the [Three Gorges] dam...is overrun by zombie hordes, which make the emergency pressure release valves impossible to reach. This eventually results in the Three Gorges Dam rupturing...destroying...Wuhan, Nanjing, and Shanghai. This results in the outbreak of the Chinese Civil War"
Man-made earthquakes are scarier than zombies, or even zombie threads.

Prefer to file follow-ups with the original postings. Not as if posting this as a new topic would bring many responses.

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Noemon
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I'll second what KQ said. I felt sick for a second when I saw this thread. I can understand the impulse to keep the conversation, as it were, in one thread, but with something like this I think that a new thread would have been a better choice.
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BlackBlade
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I've always been a strong opponent of thread necromancy. If you are the thread originator you can edit thread titles to reflect a bump, but if you just post it can pretty terrible.

Even though I quickly start looking at time tags, there are still a few seconds where you think what you are reading is current.

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maui babe
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My daughter just arrived in China for a student exchange thing and seeing this thread this morning nearly gave me a heart attack!
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