Earthquake-China: 9,000 Dead

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, May 12, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    Time for an LPSG roll call. In addition to members who live in China; I know many of our European members travel to China frequently for business.

    I just want to make sure everyone is okay.



    Death toll in China earthquake up to nearly 9,000
    By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer 24 minutes ago


    One of the worst earthquakes in decades struck central China on Monday, killing nearly 9,000 people, trapping about 900 students under the rubble of their school and causing a toxic chemical leak, state media reported.

    The 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated a hilly region of small cities and towns in Sichuan and nearby provinces. The official Xinhua News Agency said 8,533 people died in Sichuan alone and dozens of other deaths were reported in surrounding areas.

    Xinhua said 80 percent of the buildings had collapsed in Sichuan province's Beichuan county after the quake, raising fears the overall death toll could increase sharply.

    State media said a chemical plant in Shifang city had cratered, burying hundreds of people and spilling more than 80 tons of toxic liquid ammonia from the site.
    The earthquake 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 Vietnam and Thailand.

    It posed a challenge to a government already grappling with discontent over high inflation and a widespread uprising among Tibetans in western China while trying to prepare for the Beijing Olympics this August.

    The quake hit about 60 miles northwest of Chengdu — a city of 3.75 million — in the middle of the afternoon when classrooms and office towers were full. There were several smaller aftershocks, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site.

    The temblor struck hilly country leading up to the Tibetan highlands, toppling buildings in small cities and towns in the largely rural area. About 1,200 pandas — 80 percent of the surviving wild population in China — live in several mountainous areas of Sichuan.

    The earthquake, China's deadliest since 1976, occurred in an area with numerous fault lines that have triggered destructive temblors before. A magnitude 7.5 earthquake in Diexi, Sichuan that hit on August 25, 1933 killed more than 9,300 people.

    Xinhua said 50 bodies had been pulled from the debris of the school building in Juyuan town but did not say if the children were alive. Students also were buried under five other toppled schools in Deyang city, Xinhua reported.

    Its reporters saw buried teenagers struggling to break loose from underneath the rubble of the three-story building in Juyuan "while others were crying out for help." Two girls were quoted by Xinhua as saying they escaped because they had "run faster than others."
    Photos showed heavy cranes trying to remove rubble from the ruined school. Other photos posted on the Internet and found on the Chinese search engine Baidu showed arms and a torso sticking out of the rubble of the school as dozens of people worked to free them, using their hands to move concrete slabs.

    Calls into the city did not go through as panicked residents quickly overloaded the telephone system and the quake also affected power networks.

    Although it was difficult to telephone Chengdu, an Israeli student, Ronen Medzini, sent a text message to The Associated Press saying there were power and water outages there.

    "Traffic jams, no running water, power outs, everyone sitting in the streets, patients evacuated from hospitals sitting outside and waiting," he said.
    The road to Wenchuan from Chendu was cut off by landslides, state media said, slowing the rescue efforts.

    Though news trickled out in the first hours after the quake, the government and its media quickly mobilized, with nearly 8,000 soldiers and police sent to the area. China Central Television ran non-stop coverage, with phone reports from reporters and a few isolated camera shots from the scene.


    Disasters always pose a test to the communist government, whose mandate in part rests on providing relief to those in need. In recent years, the government has improved emergency planning and rapid response training for the military.

    The earthquake also rattled buildings in Beijing, some 930 miles to the north, less than three months before the Chinese capital was expected to be full of hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors for the Summer Olympics.

    Li Jiulin, a top engineer on the 91,000-seat National Stadium — known as the Bird's Nest and the jewel of the Olympics — was conducting an inspection at the venue when the quake occurred. He told reporters the building was designed to withstand a 8.0 quake.

    "The Olympic venues were not affected by the earthquake," said Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing organizing committee.

    Skyscrapers swayed in Shanghai and in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, 100 miles off the southeastern Chinese coast. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

    The quake was felt as far away as the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, where some people hurried out of swaying office buildings and into the streets downtown. A building in the Thai capital of Bangkok also was evacuated after the quake was felt there.
    A magnitude 7.8 earthquake is considered a major event, capable of causing widespread damage and injuries in populated areas.

    The last serious earthquake in China was in 2003, when a 6.8-magnitude quake killed 268 people in Bachu county in the west of Xinjiang.

    China's deadliest earthquake in modern history struck the northeastern city of Tangshan on July 28, 1976, killing 240,000 people
     
  2. B_ScaredLittleBoy

    B_ScaredLittleBoy New Member

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    Your source has overestimated.
     
  3. Principessa

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    The article mentions 5,000 dead; yet the title said 9,000. The point is thousands are dead. :frown:
     
  4. ManlyBanisters

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    I think 8,533 was the last 'official' figure I read - but they won't have finished finding everybody yet, unfortunately.

    Either way, as NJ says, it was pretty fucking bad and it would indeed be good to know that those from here we know who live and visit there are OK.
     
  5. Principessa

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    FWIW - ScaredLittleBoy, CNN is reporting the death toll at 8,533. That's close enough to 9,000 for me.:cool:

    Thousands killed by huge China quake

    BEIJING, China (CNN) -- Thousands of people have been killed by Monday's powerful earthquake in just one affected region of central China, its government said, with the toll expected to keep rising as bodies are retrieved from schools, homes and factories.

    The death toll quickly rose throughout the day. State-run news agency Xinhua said it had reached 8,533 in Sichuan Province by Monday night, and another 10,000 were believed to be injured.

    It reported that authorities were yet to reach Wenchuan County -- which sits at the epicenter of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake with a population of about 112,000 -- because of damage to roads.

    In Beichuan County, close to Wenchuan, the number of deaths was estimated at more than 3,000, with 80 percent of the buildings destroyed. http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/.element/img/2.0/mosaic/tabs/video.gifWatch as the death toll rises »

    In addition, at least 48 people were killed in the northwest Gansu Province, Xinhua said.

    Several hundred students were also feared to be buried in collapsed school buildings, the agency said.

    China's Seismological Bureau said the earthquake had affected more than half the country's provinces and municipalities.

    U.S. President George W. Bush released a statement saying his country "stands ready to help in any way possible."

    "I am particularly saddened by the number of students and children affected by this tragedy," Bush said.

    In Sichuan's Shifang city, the quake buried hundreds of people in two collapsed chemical plants, and more than 80 tons of ammonia leaked out, Xinhua said.

    The local government evacuated 6,000 civilians from the area after homes and factories were also destroyed. http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/.element/img/2.0/mosaic/tabs/video.gifSee CNN's interview with an American in Chengdu. »

    The quake was "felt in most parts of China," Xinhua reported, with the confirmed casualties in the provinces and municipality of Sichuan, Gansu, Chongqing and Yunnan.

    Xinhua said several schools collapsed, at least partially, in the quake.
    At one, as many as 900 students were feared buried. At least 50 bodies have been pulled from the rubble at the high school in the Juyuan Township of Dujiangyan City in Wenchuan County.

    "Some buried teenagers were struggling to break loose from underneath the ruins while others were crying out for help," Xinhua reported.


    article continues here.
     
  6. No_Strings

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    I'm not normally one to draw on this point, but with two disasters so close chronologically, is nature's population control something to consider? :frown:
     
  7. ManlyBanisters

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    I think the word 'coincidence' needs to be considered a lot more before we go there.
     
  8. Principessa

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    When I read this :
    "Its reporters saw buried teenagers struggling to break loose from underneath the rubble of the three-story building in Juyuan "while others were crying out for help." Two girls were quoted by Xinhua as saying they escaped because they had "run faster than others."
    In the Yahoo! article I originally posted all I could think was, "survival of the fittest." I was then immensely saddened to realize I would probably not have survived the same situation. :frown: It's been a long time since I could out run my classmates.
     
  9. B_superlarge

    B_superlarge New Member

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  10. kalipygian

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    The epicenter was in Ngawa Tibetan Autonomous prefecture, (NE Kham province of Tibet) still with a Tibetan majority, so a better description might be on the Chinese-Tibetan border, rather than central China.

    In any case, my sympathy to the effected people.

    (on the attached map, the epicenter is to the east of the 'm' in 'Kham')
     

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