China Hit by 7.9-Magnitude Quake; More Than
By Aaron Sheldrick and Eugene Tang
May 12, 2008 (Bloomberg) -- China was hit by a magnitude-7.9
earthquake, the nation's strongest in 58 years, killing more
than 8,700 people. The temblor in Sichuan province shook
buildings in Beijing, more than 1,500 kilometers (930 miles)
The quake struck at 2:28 p.m., 90 kilometers
west-northwest of the central city of Chengdu, the U.S.
Geological Survey said. The temblor struck at a depth of 10
kilometers. A magnitude-6 quake struck the area, home to 11
million people, about 15 minutes later. Chengdu is the
capital of Sichuan, site of 40 percent of China's gas
deposits and its largest panda reserve.
``The epicenter of today's quake was shallow, which means
it released more destructive energy,'' Zhang Guomin, a
researcher at the
China Seismology Bureau, told the state-run Xinhua News
Agency. ``We have to guard against mudslides and collapsing
The death toll in the province is at least 8,700, Xinhua
said, with as many as 5,000 killed and 10,000 injured in one
county, Beichuan. Rescuers recovered at least 50 bodies from
the debris of a high school in the city of Dujiangyan, about
100 kilometers from the epicenter, Xinhua said. As many as
900 students were buried in the rubble.
The death toll may rise, Deng Changwen, a spokesman for
the Sichuan provincial seismological bureau, was quoted as
saying by Xinhua. Troops and a 180-man rescue team have been
sent to Wenchuan, one of the closest population centers to
the quake, Xinhua said. The quake was originally reported as
magnitude 7.8 before it was revised by the USGS today.
``The rescue efforts will be focused on the older parts
of the city, where there are older buildings that aren't
well reinforced,'' Deng said.
Five other schools collapsed in the province's Deyang
City, leaving an unknown number of students buried, Xinhua
said. Four students were killed and at least 100 were
injured when two schools collapsed in Liangping county of
Chongqing municipality, adjacent to Sichuan. Chongqing is
about 350 kilometers from the epicenter of the temblor.
Buildings in Beijing shook for more than three minutes
and traffic stopped. Construction cranes ceased work, while
hundreds of people were seen scrambling to get out of
buildings including the China World Tower, one of the
tallest structures in the Chinese capital.
Felt in Bangkok
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage in
the capital. Shaking was felt as far as Hong Kong and
Bangkok in Thailand, 1,950 kilometers away.
The quake sparked panic in cities and towns across
Sichuan and other central provinces, Xinhua said. No damage
was reported at the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest
hydroelectric dam, Xinhua said.
The quake damaged more than 2,000 China Mobile Ltd. base
stations, Vice President
Sha Yuejia said in an interview broadcast on state-run
China Central Television.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange said trading in Sichuan
Changhong Electric Co., Chongqing Iron & Steel Co. and 43
other listed companies based in Sichuan province and
Chongqing city was suspended until they provide investors
with trading updates.
The quake may help fuel increases in corn and soybeans
after the disaster threatened to disrupt domestic supplies,
``The earthquake in China is going to cause major
disruption in transportation,'' which could boost demand for
U.S. grain and meat imports, said
Roy Huckabay, an executive vice president for the Linn
Group in Chicago. ``Chinese soybean prices soared
overnight,'' a sign of increased demand for available
supplies, Huckabay said.
Chinese carriers including China Eastern Airlines Corp.
halted flights to some cities hit by the quake.
Wen Jiabao. who described the earthquake as a
``disaster,'' called for calm and ordered immediate relief
work, according to state media, while President
Hu Jintao issued an order for an immediate response from
government agencies, according to Xinhua.
Today's earthquake was the world's strongest since a 7.9-
struck Indonesia in September, according to the USGS. It
was the biggest to hit
China since a magnitude-8.6 quake struck Tibet in 1950,
killing 1,526 people. China's deadliest disaster was a
quake that killed 250,000 people in northeastern China's
Tangshan in 1976.
The U.S. Geological Survey defines an earthquake of
magnitude 7 or more as ``major,'' and one above 8 as
There are 17 quakes measuring 7 to 7.9 annually worldwide
on average, USGS said on its Web site, with five occurring
so far this year. On average, there is one temblor annually
measuring 8 or more.
``I extend my condolences to those injured and to the
families of the victims of today's earthquake in China's
Sichuan province,'' U.S. President
George W. Bush said in a statement issued by the White
House. ``I am particularly saddened by the number of
students and children affected by this tragedy. The thoughts
and prayers of the American people are with the Chinese
people, especially those directly affected. The United
States stands ready to help in any way possible.''
Hundreds of employees were evacuated from skyscrapers in
the Lujiazui district of Shanghai, the city's financial
center, where the stock exchange and banks including
Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc have offices. No damage
Sichuan produced about 22 percent of the nation's natural
gas output in 2006, according to China National Petroleum
Corp. and BP Plc's annual energy report.
Power, Water Supplies
PetroChina Co., a unit of China National Petroleum,
hasn't yet received any reports of damage at its fields in
the earthquake zone, spokesman
Mao Zefeng said.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. closed outlets in Chengdu after the
shaking knocked goods off shelves, Dong Yuguo, a spokesman,
said by telephone. Power and water supplies inside the
stores were also down, he said.
Ford Motor Co. Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. said
there was no immediate damage to their factories in Sichuan,
Chongqing and other areas.
The Ministry of Railways said it hadn't received any
reports of interruptions to services, Yang Xue, an official,
To contact the reporters on this story:
Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo at
Eugene Tang in Beijing at
Last Updated: May 12, 2008 14:17 EDT
China Earthquake Eyewitness:
'We All Thought, Is the Building Going to Hold?'
Monday, May 12, 2008
BEIJING, China —
J.R. Wu was in her office on the 20th floor when the earth began
“The building started swaying,” Wu told
FOXNews.com from her home in Beijing Monday night. “We all
thought, Is the building going to hold?”
The high-rise held. Wu, Dow Jones' Beijing
bureau chief since 2005, was in a meeting with 20 of her
colleagues Monday when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck central
China, hundreds of miles away.
According to state media reports, at least
8,500 people were killed.
In Beijing, the earth started to rumble at
about 2:35 p.m. local time.
“The shaking lasted for several minutes,"
Wu said. "We felt nauseous."
The earthquake, which hit Sichuan province,
sent thousands of people rushing out of buildings and into the
streets in Beijing and Shanghai, hundreds of miles from the
epicenter. The temblor was felt as far away as Pakistan, Vietnam
The Xinhua News Agency said 80 percent of
the buildings Sichuan's Beichuan county had collapsed.
Rescuers had recovered at least 50 bodies
from the debris of a school building in Juyuan township, about 60
miles from the epicenter.
"Many of my colleagues started running to
the window as the building began to shake," Wu said. "We saw
people leaving buildings. They were evacuating for safety
Wu said that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is
leading the rescue effort for the earthquake and "has already
visited ground zero."
In a statement issued on his plane en route
to the disaster area, Wen called for "calm and confidence."
"The government is taking this very
seriously. They’re very concerned," Wu said. "I know that the
government is pledging relief funds. It’s not clear what the total
is going to be at this time."
Press contributed to this story.
Worry and hope as news trickles out of earthquake zone
BEIJING, May 12
,2008 (Xinhua) -- After eight
hours of frantic worry, Ai Fumei finally managed to get news
of her relatives in Wenchuan county, the epicenter of the
deadly earthquake that rocked southwest China.
"My uncle fell off a ladder when he tried to pack up
the tiles on the roof, which were falling down in the
earthquake. He is in hospital, but as power in the county
was cut, the doctor couldn't properly examine him," said Ai,
who works in the northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
She received the news by way of a cousin in Henan,
who told her the uncle's home now had cracks in the walls
and the kitchen had collapsed.
The family was living outdoors, but 24-year-old Ai
believed they were luckier than other villagers: her elder
brother Ai Furong said that most of the earthen houses were
Ai's hometown was Wenchuan, which has a population of
116,000 and lies about 159 kilometers from Chengdu,
provincial capital of Sichuan. She had found it impossible
to contact her family phone or mobile phone, until in the
evening, she received short massage from Ai Xiufang in
She was also unable to reach her mother in Chengdu
until about 9 p.m., when she heard that many other people
were living outdoors, and her mother "planned to sleep on
the grass in a park".
Bai Yang, 29, who works for an advertising company,
was in Chengdu on business when the quake occurred.
"I was working in the exhibition center when all of a
sudden, I heard noises from underground just like subway
trains and seconds later I felt a tremor, said Bai.
"It was shaking so vehemently that we feared glass
would fall." About 20 seconds later he realized it was an
earthquake and rushed outside with his colleagues.
"Some balconies of old buildings collapsed," he said.
"On the streets many people are sitting or lying on
newspapers or blankets. Shops are closed. The price of a
kebab has soared from 0.2 yuan to 2 yuan."
Bai was scheduled to return Beijing on Tuesday
evening. "But I am not sure now whether my flight will take
A driver from the Sichuan provincial seismological
bureau had been on the 312 national highway near the
Wenchuan county when the tremor occurred.
"I heard someone calling 'earthquake' and felt my car
swaying. Rocks rolled off the hills and dust darkened the
sky," he recalled.
Bai Ruixue, a journalist in Beijing, said, "I still
couldn't reach my parents in Mianyang." One person was
confirmed killed in the city after a water tower collapsed.
She had spoken with her father about an hour after
the catastrophe, but was cut off one minute later. "He told
me that windows were all broken in our apartment, which is
on the first floor," she said.
"My parents are old and where could they live now?"
asked Bai Ruixue.
Xinhua reporters had attempted to go to Wenchuan, but
were stopped at Dujiangyan city 100 kilometers away, where
roads were blocked by rocks.
Communication links to the county are still cut, cell
phone calls are met with the engaged tone.
Zhang Jun'an, vice chief executive officer of China
Unicom, said two networks in Wenchuan were crippled. "The
network in Chengdu is okay, but overloaded," he was quoted
by CCTV as saying.
China Unicom's staff to Wenchuan were blocked in
Dujiangyan as well.
Measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, the earthquake at
2:28 p.m. claimed more than 7,651 lives in Sichuan Province
alone and injured hundreds. It is China's worst quake since
1976, when an earthquake in Tangshan, Hebei Province, killed
"Although I won't sleep tonight, I feel some relief
now," said Ai Fumei in Ningxia.
Editor: Mu Xuequan
SW China earthquake disrupts railway transportation
BEIJING, May 12, 2008 (Xinhua) -- Monday's
strong earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province have
caused multiple landslides and collapses along railway lines
near the provincial capital Chengdu, leaving 180 trains
stranded on the rails.
Thirty-one passenger and 149 cargo trains were
stranded on the Baoji-Chengdu line, the Chengdu-Kunming
line, the Chengdu-Chongqing line and their branch lines
linking Chengdu with the rest of the country.
At least 15 cases of landslides and collapses had so
far been reported along rail tracks, with 34 railway
stations on the Baoji-Chengdu Railway losing power supplies
due to the earthquake, Wang Yongping, spokesman of the
Ministry of Railways said Monday night.
Wang quoted one case involving the cargo train No.
21043 on the Baoji-Chengdu Railway, which went off the rails
and caught fire in a tunnel near Huixian County, in Gansu
Province, as the tunnel began to collapse. One man was
injured during the incident.
The Railways Ministry has dispatched rescue teams to
the No. 21043 train, and sent repair teams to check railway
facilities near quake-hit areas.
All trains running near quake-hit areas have been
ordered to halt in open areas, and passengers trains heading
for quake-hit areas are awaiting orders to turn back.
The quake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale jolted
Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province at 2:28 p.m., resulting in
more than 7,651 deaths reported so far. The epicenter was
about 100 kilometers from the provincial capital.
Tremors were also reported in over half of China's
provinces and municipalities, the China Seismological Bureau
Editor: Mu Xuequan
Quake engulfs 900 children
5:00AM Tuesday May 13, 2008
Nearly 900 students were buried in China's Sichuan province
last night by a huge earthquake.
The official Xinhua news agency said the students were in a
high school in Juyuan Township, part of Dujiangyan City, in Sichuan
The agency said teenagers buried beneath the rubble of the
three-story building were struggling to break free, and others were
crying out for help.
Parents were watching as cranes excavated the site. Villagers
rushed to help with the rescue.
Two girls said they escaped because they had "run faster than
In a separate incident, four children died when two elementary
schools in Chongqing municipality collapsed.
More than 100 students were injured, two seriously.
Xinhua said the early confirmed death toll from the quake was
107, with 34 injured. But the toll looks likely to soar as
authorities and rescue teams make contact with areas where roads and
phone lines have been cut by the tremor.
The 7.8-magnitude quake sent shocks and panic across large
parts of the country.
One person was killed when the quake toppled a water tower in
neighbouring Sichuan province where the earthquake was centred.
The airport in the provincial capital, Chengdu, was closed and
roads were clogged with traffic after the earthquake.
Rain was also predicted for the disaster area.
The quake's epicentre was in the Aba prefecture in Sichuan
province, 92km northwest of Chengdu, at 2.28pm [6.28pm NZT], the US
Geological Survey said on its website.
Calls to Chengdu did not go through as panicked residents
quickly overloaded the telephone system.
"In Chengdu, mobile telecommunication convertors have
experienced jams and thousands of servers were out of service," said
Sha Yuejia, deputy chief executive officer of China Mobile.
But Israeli student Ronen Medzini sent a text message to the
Associated Press telling of power and water cuts in the city.
"Traffic jams, no running water, power outs, everyone sitting
in the streets, patients evacuated from hospitals sitting outside
and waiting," he said.
Xinhua said an underground water pipe ruptured near the city's
southern railway station, flooding a main thoroughfare.
The earthquake also rattled buildings in Beijing 1500km to the
Many Beijing office towers were evacuated, including the
building housing the media offices for the organisers of the Olympic
Games, which start in August.
The local government of the Aba prefecture said the earthquake
had caused injuries, cracked and collapsed buildings, and damaged
In Beijing, thousands of people evacuated or were ordered out
James McGregor, an American business consultant who was inside
the LG Towers in Beijing's business district, said: "The floor was
moving underneath me.
"I've lived in Taipei and California and I've been through
quakes. This is the most I've ever felt."
People ran screaming into the streets in other cities.
In Fuyang, 1100km to the east in Anhui province, chandeliers
in the lobby of the Buckingham Palace Hotel swayed, and patients at
the Fuyang People's No. 1 Hospital were evacuated.
In Shanghai, skyscrapers swayed and most office occupants went
rushing into the streets.
The quake was felt as far away as Thailand, Vietnam and
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake is considered a major event,
capable of causing widespread damage and injuries in populated
- REUTERS, AP
moves quickly in quake
country's deadliest quake
in three decades hit
central China Monday.
| Staff writer of The
from the May 13, 2008
Beijing - – As the
death toll from Monday's
earthquake mounted, China
threw its Army into rescue
operations – reflecting
the priority that Beijing
has increasingly put on
efficient disaster relief.
The country appears to
be well prepared for such
an operation, says Roger
Musson, a seismologist at
the British Geological
Survey in Edinburgh. "They
are very good at putting
together a disaster relief
plan rather quickly."
More than 6,000
soldiers and militarized
police were dispatched to
the disaster area,
carrying out standing
orders in the event of an
earthquake, a military
The next few days will
reveal to what extent
buildings in this part of
central China were
equipped to withstand a
disaster such as this –
the country's deadliest
since 1976 with at least
8,500 dead as of press
Prime Minister Wen
Jiabao, who flew to
Chengdu, the provincial
capital of Sichuan, less
than two hours after the
quake hit, told reporters
en route that government
leaders have "asked
officials at all levels to
be at the front line of
the fighting the
earthquake and lead the
people in their rescue
"I believe we can
certainly overcome the
disaster with the public
and the military working
together," he added in a
improvements in disaster
buffeting from typhoons
has led the authorities to
build an efficient
disaster relief structure,
according to Xue Lan,
professor of public
improvement is in
Professor Xue. "Death
tolls have been falling in
recent years even though
typhoons have been getting
fiercer. China is doing
much better than it used
to, and than other
As well as passing a
special law on emergency
management last year,
setting out the
has built a regional
network of emergency
reporting to the State
Council, which acts as the
In a Category 1
disaster, as Monday's
quake was declared, local
officials are authorized
to ignore normal chains of
command and report
directly to the top levels
of government, according
to Mao Shoulong, professor
of public policy at Renmin
University in Beijing.
In addition to the
thousands of soldiers and
police dispatched to the
epicenter in Wenchuan
county, emergency medical
teams were sent from major
cities on the east coast
to the quake zone.
displayed a speed of
official response that
critics said had been
lacking during China's
last natural disaster,
blizzards that gripped the
south of the country last
magnitude of 7.8
The epicenter of
earthquake was in Sichuan,
about 57 miles northwest
of the provincial capital
of Chengdu. It hit in the
middle of the afternoon –
when classes and offices
At one school about 60
miles from the epicenter,
nearly 900 students were
trapped under rubble, the
Associated Press reported,
citing Chinese state
media. At least seven
other schools in the
region had collapsed,
according to Xinhua, as
well as chemical plants
and at least one hospital.
As many as 10,000 in
Beichuan Qiang Autonomous
County were feared injured
and 80 percent of the
buildings there had been
reported. There had been
more than 300 aftershocks,
state television said.
blocked roads have
hampered rescue efforts.
The overall death toll
from this earthquake –
with tremors reaching as
far away as Pakistan,
Vietnam and Thailand – is
expected to rise in coming
"Anything greater than
[a magnitude of] 7 is very
significant," says Mike
Haggerty, a seismologist
Weston Observatory at
Boston College in Weston,
Mass. "The magnitude is
7.8, and that's the
exactly the same magnitude
of the 1976 Tangshen
earthquake." About one
quarter of a million
people died in that
natural disaster thirty
The key difference
between the quakes on
Monday and in 1976 was
location, says Mr. Musson,
"The 1976 earthquake
occurred extremely close
to Tangshan. The city was
really sitting on top of
the fault.... The good
aspect is that this
occurred in a remote area.
The bad aspect is the
population has increased,"
The shallowness of
Monday's earthquake will
also contribute to the
extent of the damage, Mr.
contributed from Boston.
Wire material was also
China quake buries hundreds, kills at least
Updated Mon. May.
12 2008 3:35 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
The death toll is expected to rise dramatically in China's
Sichuan province after a massive earthquake struck the region
The official number of dead is listed at 8,533, but there
are fears the figure will increase due to the number of
buildings that have suffered major damage. In Sichuan's Beichan
county alone, about 80 per cent of buildings have collapsed.
Ten thousand people are estimated to be injured, according
to the Xinhua news agency.
The 7.9-magnitude quake -- originally estimated by the
U.S. Geological Survey to be 7.8 -- struck at 2:28 p.m. local
time, when office buildings, factories and schools were full.
Nearly 900 Chinese students were feared buried after two schools
collapsed in the municipality of Chongqing.
Xinhua reported that four of the dead were ninth-grade
students killed when their high school in Jutuan township about
100 kilometres from the quake eipcentre, collapsed.
Photos showed cranes trying to remove the rubble of the
collapsed building, though there were no estimates of how many
more students may have been killed.
There were reports of teenagers struggling to get free of
the rubble of the three-story building, as others cried out for
The quake made buildings sway in Beijing, about 2,000
kilometres away, and was also felt in Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam
and as far away as Pakistan.
"We're really in the very early stages," Francis Markus of
the Red Cross Federation told Canada AM from Beijing. "We don't
know what the situation is at the heart of these
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake's epicentre is
92 kilometres northwest of Chengdu, Sichuan's capital, and 10
kilometres below the surface.
Ten million people live in Chengdu, best known for its
giant panda breeding centre. Sichuan province is also home to
about 1,200 pandas, which constitute about 80 per cent of the
surviving panda population in the wild.
The joint UN-European Commission's Global Disaster Alert
and Coordination System, or GDAC, said a quake of this magnitude
could cause damage up to 97 kilometres from the epicentre.
Xinhua said the quake occurred in a sparsely populated,
mountainous area, with about 110,000 people living there.
In Aba prefecture of Sichuan province, government
officials said buildings had cracked and collapsed. Roads
through the mountains were damaged.
Calls to emergency numbers in Chengdu went unanswered. A
resident whom The Associated Press reached by telephone said
there was no sign of damages.
Xinhua said China's Premier Wen Jiabao is heading to the
Markus said the Red Cross and Chinese government are
sending planes with experts and equipment to the disaster area.
The quake came as China prepared to host the Olympic Games
this summer. International Olympic Committee President Jacques
Rogge wrote to China's president, telling the Chinese people
that "The Olympic Movement is at your side, especially during
these difficult moments."
As news trickled in throughout the day about the extent of
the damage, Rogge said: "This appears to be a major disaster,
the scale of which is only just becoming apparent."
With files from The Associated Press
CHONGQING -- China's most devastating
earthquake in three decades killed nearly 9,000 people on
Monday, with the toll likely to soar as authorities struggle
to reach casualties in large areas cut off from relief.
The earthquake that hit China's southwestern province of
Sichuan killed 8,533 people, the official Xinhua news agency
said on Monday, citing the provincial government.
The epicentre of the 7.8 magnitude quake was in a
mountainous region about 100 km from Sichuan's capital
Chengdu, a bustling city of 10 million.
"The road started swaying as I was driving. Rocks fell
from the mountains, with dust darkening the sky over the
valley," a driver for Sichuan's seismological bureau was
quoted by Xinhua as saying, as he was driving near the
The quake hit in the middle of the school day, toppling
eight schools in the region. Chemical plants and at least one
hospital were also flattened, trapping many hundreds, state
About 900 teenagers were buried in the rubble of a
collapsed three-storey school building in the Sichuan city of
Local villagers had already helped dozens of students
out of the ruins and five cranes were excavating the site as
anxious parents looked on, Xinhua said.
"Some buried teenagers were struggling to break loose
from underneath the ruins while others were crying out for
help," the agency said.
Nightfall, severed communications and blocked roads have
hampered rescue efforts and the death toll was likely to rise
An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people were killed in
Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County alone, state media said.
As many as 10,000 in Beichuan were feared injured and 80
percent of the buildings there had been destroyed, Xinhua
said. There had been more than 300 aftershocks, state
Beichuan's population is 161,000, meaning about one in
10 residents were killed or injured. The county is a part of
Mianyang city, and about 160 km (100 miles) from the
provincial capital, Chengdu.
Hundreds of people were buried in two collapsed chemical
plants in Shifang in Sichuan, the online edition of the
official Xinhua news agency said.
About 6,000 people were evacuated, Xinhua said, adding
that more than 80 tonnes of highly corrosive liquid ammonia
Hundreds of people were buried under rubble in Shifang
in Sichuan as several schools, factories and dormitories
collapsed during the quake, the official Xinhua news agency
Hundreds were also buried under rubble in a collapsed
hospital in Dujiangyan city in Sichuan.
The quake's epicentre was in nearby Wenchuan, a
mountainous county of about 100,000 people, but its force was
enough to cause buildings to sway across China and as far away
as the Thai capital Bangkok.
The Sichuan plain is one of China's most fertile
agricultural areas, but it relies heavily on an irrigation
system linked to the 2,000-year-old Dujiangyan flood control
Which means the quake could exacerbate inflation,
already running at the fastest pace in 12 years.
The quake is also the worst to hit China in 32 years
since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake in northeastern China where
up to 300,000 died.
It has come at a bad time for China, which holds the
Olympic Games in August, and has been struggling to keep a lid
on unrest in ethnic Tibetan areas and the heavily Muslim
northeastern Xinjiang region.
The U.S. Geological Survey said on its website (http://earthquake.usgs.gov)
the main quake struck at 0628 GMT at a depth of 10 km (6
In Beijing and Shanghai, office workers poured into the
streets as the tremor hit. In the capital, there was no
visible damage and the showpiece Bird's Nest Olympic stadium
Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Chengdu and President Hu
Jintao ordered an "all-out" rescue effort, Xinhua reported.
Thousands of army troops and paramilitary People's Armed
Police carrying medical supplies were also headed to the
region, state television said. But a landslide had blocked a
mountain road leading to Wenchuan, preventing troops from
reaching the scene, state radio said.
In Washington, President George W. Bush said the United
States was ready to help.
"I extend my condolences to those injured and to the
families of the victims of today's earthquake. I am
particularly saddened by the number of students and children
affected by this tragedy.
"The United States stands ready to help in any way
possible," Mr. Bush said in a statement.
At least 45 had died in Chengdu, Xinhua said, citing an
official with the local seismological bureau. Another 600
people were injured, 58 of them critically, in the sprawling
Some 57 have been confirmed killed in northern Shaanxi,
48 in northwestern Gansu, 50 in Chongqing municipality, and
one in Yunnan province, Xinhua said, citing the national
headquarters of disaster relief.
© Thomson Reuters 2008
Biq Quake Takes out Mobile Network in Chengdu
Steven Schwankert, IDG News Service
Monday, May 12, 2008 8:17 AM PDT
An earthquake registering 7.8 on the Richter Scale knocked
out mobile phone service in the western Chinese city of
Chengdu, although fixed-line networks remained in service,
Chinese state television reported Monday afternoon.
About 2,300 base stations were affected by power outages or
transmission problems, China Mobile's Sichuan office told the
state-run Xinhua News Agency, adding that repairs were under
way. China is the nation's and world's largest mobile service
Service was affected in both southwestern Sichuan province,
and in northwestern Shaanxi province, Xinhua reported,
although those two areas do not abut. China Mobile also said
that call volume had increased by 10 times what is normal but
connections were down by half as a result of the earthquake.
China's online video sites were quick to receive footage shot
during the earthquake by users, footage that did not appear on
CCTV's nightly newscast, which is carried by most major
labeled "Chengdu Earthquake," showed students in a classroom
or dormitory room hiding under their desks, as debris falls
from the ceiling. "Don't move, don't move, it's ok," the
photographer says to a student who emerges from cover too
quickly. Footage from Chengdu would also seem to confirm the
availability of Internet service there.
The semiconductor industry and China's growing
software outsourcing industry take advantage of
Chengdu's status as China's fifth-largest city and
southwest China's largest academic center.
Although the Chengdu region is not
considered a major manufacturing center for
semiconductors, Intel began semiconductor
manufacturing there in 2005, and employs 600 at a
testing and assembly facility in Chengdu.
"We are now determining if this has
implications for Intel's operation in Chengdu. Our
first priority is the safety of our people," said
Danny Cheung, an Intel spokesman based in
Singapore, in an e-mail.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC)
also operates a testing and assembly facility
there, according to its Web site. Sources said
that SMIC evacuated a fabrication plant and halted
production as a result of the quake.
The earthquake occurred at 2:28 p.m. Beijing
local time. The State Seismological Bureau (SSB)
originally reported the quake registered at 7.6 on
the Richter Scale, but later upgraded it to 7.8.
The epicenter was approximately 55 kilometers (33
miles) northwest of Chengdu in Wenchuan County.
Shaking lasted for approximately one minute,
dislodging lights from ceiling fixtures and
knocking over water coolers, a reporter told CCTV.
CCTV did not report aftershocks, but the
U.S. Geological Service's
Web site reported at least 10 by 8:45 p.m.
Beijing local time. The quake was felt as far away
as coastal Zhejiang province and Beijing. Beijing
experienced a separate 3.9 earthquake at 2:35
p.m., the SSB confirmed.
CCTV's first pictures of the event,
broadcast at 4:23 p.m. Beijing time, showed people
talking on mobile handsets, although it is not
known which networks they were using at the time.
They showed traffic moving in the street, and a
woman with her head bleeding getting into a car.
Footage broadcast during the nightly newscast
showed visible cracks in some residential
buildings, but no collapsed structures or pictures
of people injured or killed by the earthquake.
The strength of Monday's 7.8 earthquake
equals China's most famous temblor in modern
history, a July 1976 event in Tangshan, east of
Beijing. Estimated deaths for the Tangshan
earthquake range from over 200,000 to more than
700,000. So far, 107 people are confirmed dead as
a result of the earthquake, and as many as 900
children may be buried at a high school in an
unspecified location, according to the state-run
Xinhua News Agency.
(Sumner Lemon in Singapore contributed to
Death toll in China earthquake up to nearly 9,000
CHENGDU, China (AP) — One of the worst earthquakes to hit
China in three decades killed nearly 9,000 people Monday, trapped
about 900 students under the rubble of their school and caused a
toxic chemical leak, state media reported.
The 7.9-magnitude earthquake devastated a hilly region of
small cities and towns in central China. The official Xinhua News
Agency said 8,533 people died in Sichuan province and more than 200
others were killed in three other provinces and the mega-city of
Xinhua said 80 percent of the buildings had collapsed in
Sichuan province's Beichuan county after the quake, raising fears
that 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. When it hit shortly before 2:30 p.m., the
quake rumbled for nearly three minutes, witnesses said, driving
people into the streets in panic.
"It was really scary to be on the 26th floor in something like
that," said Tom Weller, a 49-year-old American oil and gas
consultant staying at the Holiday Inn. "You had to hold on to
something like that or you'd fall over. It shook for so long and so
violently, you wondered how long the building would be able to stand
While most buildings in the city held up, those in the
countryside tumbled. On the outskirts of Chongqing city, a school in
Liangping county collapsed, killing at least five people. Residents
said teachers kept the children inside, thinking it was safer.
Landslides left the roads impassable even early Tuesday,
causing the government to order soldiers into the area on foot,
state television said, while heavy rains prevented four military
helicopters from landing.
Mianyang city ordered all able-bodied males under 50 years old
to take water and tools and walk or drive to Beichuan, where most of
the buildings had collapsed.
Nervous Chengdu residents spent the night outside or headed to
the suburbs. State media citing the Sichuan seismology bureau,
reported 313 aftershocks.
"We can't get to sleep. We're afraid of the earthquake. We're
afraid of all the shaking," said 52-year-old factory worker Huang Ju,
who took her ailing, elderly mother out of the Jinjiang District
Outside the hospital, Huang sat in a wheelchair wrapped in
blankets while her mother, who was ill, slept in a hospital bed next
The earthquake hit one of the last homes of the giant panda at
the Wolong Nature Reserve and panda breeding center, in Wenchuan
county, which remained out of contact, Xinhua said.
The Wolong PandaCam, a live online video feed showing the
activities of the pandas at the nature reserve, stopped showing
footage of the animals late Sunday night. 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.
The U.S. Geological Survey initially said Monday's quake had a
magnitude of 7.8 but later revised it to 7.9.
In Juyuan town, Xinhua said its reporters saw buried teenagers
struggling to break loose from underneath the rubble of the
three-story building "while others were crying out for help."
As many as 900 students were trapped and four ninth graders
were immediately killed, Xinhua said. Photos showed people using
cranes, mechanical hoists and their hands to remove slabs of
concrete and steel.
Two girls were quoted by Xinhua as saying they escaped because
they had "run faster than others."
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.
IOC President Jacques Rogge sent "deepest felt condolences for
the victims" in a letter written to China's president.
"The Olympic Movement is at your side, especially during these
difficult moments. Our thoughts are with you." Rogge said in his
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.
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
China's deadliest earthquake in modern history struck the
northeastern city of Tangshan on July 28, 1976, killing 240,000
Death toll in China earthquake rises
to 9,600, may go higher
12 May 2008
CHONGQING, China - A massive earthquake
struck central China on Monday, killing more than 9,600 people,
trapping nearly 900 students under the rubble of their school and
raising fears the overall death toll could increase sharply.
In Beichuan county, just east of the epicenter, 80
percent of the buildings had collapsed and some 10,000 people were
injured aside from the 7,000 to 9,000 dead, the official Xinhua News
Agency said. Xinhua cited the Sichuan provincial government as saying
7,651 people died in the province but the situation in at least two
counties remain unclear.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck in the middle
of the afternoon _ when classrooms and office towers were full _ 57
miles (92 kilometers) northwest of Sichuan’s capital of Chengdu. The
quake emptied office buildings across the country in Beijing; could be
felt as far away as Vietnam; crashed telephone networks; and hours
later, left parts of Chengdu, a city of 10 million, in darkness.
In Juyuan town in Dujiangyan city, just south of
the epicenter, the middle school collapsed, burying the students and
immediately killing four ninth graders, the official Xinhua News
Agency reported. Xinhua said its reporters in Juyuan town saw buried
teenagers struggling to break free from the rubble ˘while others were
crying out for help.’
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 small mechanical winches or their hands to move concrete slabs.
Xinhua said 50 bodies had been pulled from the debris but did not say
if they were alive.
Another photo from Wenchuan, closest to the
epicenter, showed what appeared to have been a six-story building
flattened, ripped away from taller buildings of gray concrete. Xinhua
reported students were also buried under five other toppled schools in
The communist leadership said late Monday that
˘thousands’ had died, and that besides those in Sichuan, the quake had
caused deaths in three other provinces and the mega-city of Chongqing.
Beijing mobilized more than 5,000 soldiers and
police to provide rescue in Sichuan and put the province on the
second-highest level of emergency footing. Premier Wen Jiabao, a
geologist by training, called the quake ˘a major geological disaster’
and flew into Chengdu to oversee the rescue and relief operations.
The quake was one of the deadliest in three decades
and 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.
Stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen seesawed
Monday, dropping on inflation worries and then rising and tapering off
over worries about the quake’s economic impact to post slight gains.
The epicenter lies on a fault where South Asia
pushes against the Eurasian land mass, smashing the Sichuan plain into
mountains leading to the Tibetan highlands, near communities that rose
up in sometimes violent protests against Chinese rule in mid-March.
Much of the area has been closed to foreign media
and travelers since, compounding the difficulties of getting
information from the region. Chengdu’s airport was closed. For much of
the day, electric power and telephone networks into Chengdu and other
affected areas were down, and panicked residents overloaded parts of
the remaining telephone system with calls.
Residents fled into the streets and described an
eerie feeling as people stayed outside into the night, fearing another
quake. State media citing the Sichuan seismology bureau reported 313
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,’ Medzini said.
A reporter from a US public radio network,
National Public Radio, said the earthquake hit around 2:30 p.m. and
lasted about three minutes total.
˘I was in a building, everybody raced outside when
we felt it. The building started to shake, there was a huge rumble,
and everybody ran,’ said NPR reporter Melissa Block in comments aired
by the network.
˘There’s still many, many people out in the
streets, they don’t want to go back into the buildings, because there
are rumors of aftershocks and possible secondary quakes,’ she said as
she drove through Chengdu.
The quake was centered about 6 miles (10
kilometers) below the surface, the US Geological Survey said on its
Web site. The depth of the quake made it so wide-ranging, Chinese and
Western seismologists said.
State television broadcast tips for anyone trapped
in the earthquake. ˘If you’re buried, keep calm and conserve your
energy. Seek water and food, and wait patiently for rescue,’ CCTV
The earthquake also rattled buildings in Beijing
930 miles (1,500 kilometers) to the north, causing office towers to
evacuate. People ran screaming into the streets in other cities, where
many residents said they had never felt an earthquake.
Some 660 miles (1,100 kilometers) to the east in
Anhui province, chandeliers swayed in the lobby of the Buckingham
Palace Hotel. ˘We’ve never felt anything like this our whole lives,’
said a hotel employee surnamed Zhu.
Patients at the Fuyang People’s No. 1 Hospital were
evacuated. An hour after the quake, a half-dozen patients in
blue-striped pajamas stood outside the hospital. One was laying on a
hospital bed in the parking lot.
In Beijing, where hundreds of thousands of foreign
visitors are expected for the Olympics, which start on Aug. 8, venues
for the games were undamaged.
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
˘The Olympic venues were not affected by the
earthquake,’ said Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing organizing
committee. ˘We considered earthquakes when building those venues.’
Premier Wen, after arriving in Chengdu, traveled to
Dujiangyan, near the collapsed middle school. One his aircraft, he
appealed for people to rally together.
˘This is an especially challenging task,’ state
television showed Wen saying, reading from a statement. ˘In the face
of the disaster, what’s most important is calmness, confidence,
courage and powerful command.’
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake is considered a major
event, capable of causing widespread damage and injuries in populated
The quake appeared to be the deadliest since the
most devastating in modern history, which killed 240,000 people in the
city of Tangshan, near Beijing in 1976.
A 1933 quake near the area where Monday’s struck
killed at least 9,000, according to geologists.
Explanation of China's quake
By Michael Mandeville
May 12, 2008, 14:46
BULLETIN ITEM: Eurasia Cracking At Sichuan China - 7.8
Quake followed by strong Class 5+ Aftershocks Every 30 Minutes
by MW Mandeville (for release to all media)
[May 12, 2008 ECB] This Great Quake emerged as a simple fault
snap, suddenly and without warning. Although it struck in an
earthquake prone area of Southeast Eurasia, far inland from
subduction zones, the quake had no major pre-cursors in the
area, unlike the recent large quake near Japan. Following this
quake large aftershocks continue to shake the area as frequently
as every 15 minutes. Existing metrics as of Monday morning which
describe this quake are likely very inaccurate. This inner
continental quake has killed perhaps ten(s) of thousands but the
numbers will likely rapidly rise like the still on-going
disaster in Myanmar.
Pre cursors for this quake can be identified if the range of
view is expanded to most of continental Eurasia. On Saturday and
Sunday (Arizona Mountain Time) most world quake activity 4+
ranged through the southern tier of Eurasia in the broad belt
which ranges from the Eastern Mediterranean through to Southeast
Asia and accross the Sichuan area to as far as Taiwan. From this
perspective, the Sichuan quake is obviously part of a major
tectonic "adjustment" in the shape of Eurasia, most likely
forced by vectors from the Southern Hemisphere, ranging from the
northeastern movements of Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the
Australian tectonic plates.
The quake in Sichuan most likely was also partly created by the
forces in the Pacific Plate. Sichuan area is at a vector angle
of 170 degrees or greater to the Pacific Plate, which has quite
obviously moving at an accelerated pace during the past 30 days.
This rapidly moving (relatively speaking) ocean bottom plate has
created both Class 7 quakes and volcanic eruptions around the
Pacific Rim during the past few months, most especially during
the past 30 days.
Most likely a major factor in the motion of the Pacific Ocean
bottom is an accleration of rifting (spreading of the Earth's
crust) in the East Pacific Rise portion of the Great Rift which
snakes around the Earth at the bottoms of the oceans. The
acceleration of spreading has been evident for the past few
months. It is likely releasing far more heat into the bottom of
the East Pacific than normal and this may be the "gating" phase
which will produce the next El Nino, which is likely to emerge
into visibility during the latter part of 2008 and last through
the first half of 2009. Ironically, then, the Great Quakes in
Japan and China this past week may be heralds of record-breaking
El Nino year soon to come.
© Copyright by AbundantHope.net all rights reserved
|Death toll in China quake exceeds 12,000
By WILLIAM FOREMAN, Associated Press Write
DUJIANGYAN, China - The toll of the dead and
missing soared as rescue workers dug through flattened schools
and homes on Tuesday in a desperate attempt to find survivors
worst earthquake in three decades.
Xinhua News Agency said the death toll
exceeded 12,000 in
Sichuan province alone, and 18,645 were
still buried in debris in the city of
Mianyang, near the epicenter of Monday's
massive, 7.9-magnitude quake.
Daily newspaper reported on its Web site that more
than 26,000 people were injured in Mianyang.
The numbers of casualties was expected to
rise due to the remoteness of the areas affected
by the quake and difficulty in finding buried
There was little prospect that many
survivors would be found under the rubble. Only 58
people were extricated from demolished buildings
across the quake area so far, China Seismological
Bureau spokesman Zhang Hongwei told Xinhua. In one
county, 80 percent of the buildings were
Rain was impeding efforts and a group of
paratroopers called off a rescue mission to the
epicenter due to heavy storms, Xinhua reported.
More than two dozen British and American
tourists who were thought to be panda-watching in
the area also remained missing.
Officials urged the public not to abandon
"Survivors can hold on for some time. Now
it's not time to give up," Wang Zhenyao, disaster
relief division director at the Ministry of Civil
Affairs, told reporters in
Jiabao, who rushed to the area to oversee
rescue efforts, said a push was on to clear roads
and restore electricity as soon as possible. His
visit to the disaster scene was prominently
featured on state TV, a gesture meant to reassure
people that the ruling party was doing all it
"We will save the people," Wen said through
a bullhorn to survivors as he toured the disaster
scene, in footage shown on CCTV. "As long as the
people are there, factories can be built into even
better ones, and so can the towns and counties."
State media said rescue workers had reached
the epicenter in
Wenchuan county — where the number of
casualties was still unknown. The quake was
centered just north of the
Sichuan provincial capital of
Chengdu in central China, tearing into
urban areas and mountain villages.
Earthquake rescue experts in orange
jumpsuits extricated bloody survivors on
stretchers from demolished buildings.
Some 20,000 soldiers and police arrived in
the disaster area with 30,000 more on the way by
plane, train, trucks and even on foot, the Defense
Ministry told Xinhua.
Aftershocks rattled the region for a second
day, sending people running into the streets in
Geological Survey measured the shocks
between magnitude 4 and 6, some of the strongest
since Monday's quake.
Zhou Chun, a 70-year-old retired mechanic,
was leaving Dujiangyan with a soiled light blue
blanket draped over his shoulders.
"My wife died in the quake. My house was
destroyed," he said. "I am going to Chengdu, but I
don't know where I'll live."
Zhou and other survivors were pulling
luggage and clutching plastic bags of food amid a
steady drizzle and the constant wall of
Just east of the epicenter, 1,000 students
and teachers were killed or missing at a collapsed
high school in Beichuan county — a six-story
building reduced to a pile of rubble about two
yards high, according to Xinhua. Xinhua said 80
percent of the buildings had collapsed in Beichuan
At another leveled school in Dujiangyan, 900
students were feared dead. As bodies of teenagers
were carried out on doors used as makeshift
stretchers, relatives lit incense and candles and
also set off fireworks to ward away evil spirits.
Gansu province, a 40-car freight train
derailed in the quake that included 13 gasoline
tankers was still burning Tuesday, Xinhua said.
Gasoline lines grew in Chengdu and grocery
stores shelves were almost empty. The Ministry of
Health issued an appeal for blood donations to
help the quake victims.
Fifteen missing British tourists were
believed to have been in the area at the time of
the quake and were "out of reach," Xinhua
They were likely visiting the Wolong Nature
Reserve, home to more than 100 giant pandas, whose
fate also was not known, Xinhua said, adding that
60 pandas at another breeding center in Chengdu
Another group of 12 Americans also on
panda-watching tour sponsored by the U.S. office
of the World Wildlife Fund remained out of contact
Tuesday, said Tan Rui, WWF communications officer
Two Chinese-Americans and a Thai tourist
also were missing in
Sichuan province, the agency said, citing
Expressions of sympathy and offers of help
poured in from the United States,
Japan and the
European Union, among others.
Dalai Lama, who has been vilified by
Chinese authorities who blame him for recent
unrest in Tibet, offered prayers for the victims.
The epicenter is just south of some
Tibetan mountain areas that saw
anti-government protests earlier this year.
Beijing Games organizers said the
Olympic torch relay will continue as
planned through the quake-affected area next
The Chinese government said it would welcome
outside aid, and
Russia was sending a plane with rescuers
and supplies, the country's
Interfax news agency reported.
But Wang, the disaster relief official, said
international aid workers would not be allowed to
travel to the affected area.
"We welcome funds and supplies; we can't
accommodate personnel at this point," he said.
China's Ministry of Finance said it had
allocated $123 million in aid for quake-hit areas.
The quake was China's deadliest since 1976,
when 240,000 people were killed in the city of
Beijing in 1976. Financial analysts said
the quake would have only a limited impact on the
country's booming economy.
Associated Press writers Christopher Bodeen
in Juyuan and Audra Ang in
Chengdu contributed to this report.
|August 13, 2004
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media now reports the death toll from the
massive earthquake that hit the country on Monday now exceeds 12,000 in
Sichuan province alone.
A day after the powerful 7.9 magnitude quake struck Monday afternoon,
state media said rescue workers had reached the epicenter in Wenchuan
county — where the number of casualties was still unknown.
But rain was impeding efforts and a group of paratroopers called off a
mission to the area due to heavy storms, the official Xinhua News Agency
The death toll rose to 11,921, said Wang Zhenyao, disaster relief division
director at the Ministry of Civil Affairs. At least 4,800 people remained
buried in Mianzhu, 60 miles from the epicenter, Xinhua said, citing local
The casualty figures were expected to rise and remained uncertain due to
the remote areas affected by the quake and difficulty in finding buried
‘TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE'
The tremors caused a wide swath of damage across central China, sending
people fleeing with their few salvaged belongings. Earthquake rescue
experts in orange jumpsuits extricated bloody survivors on stretchers from
demolished buildings, and some 34,000 troops swarmed into the region to
Local residents run to get away from fallen rock in aftershock in the
earthquake-affected Mianyang, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Tuesday,
May 13, 2008. The death toll from a powerful earthquake in China that
toppled buildings, schools and chemical plants climbed Tuesday to about
10,000, while untold numbers remained trapped after the country's worst
quake in three decades. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
But hope was fleeting as bodies covered with sheets lined streets and
filled schoolyards. Only 58 people were extricated from collapsed
buildings across the quake area, China Seismological Bureau spokesman
Zhang Hongwei told Xinhua, as rescuers raced to save more.
"Time is of the essence," said disaster relief director Wang, adding that
rescue efforts could take a week.
"Survivors can hold on for some time. Now it's not time to give up," Wang
told reporters in Beijing.
Aftershocks rattled the region for a second day, sending people running
into the streets in the city of Chengdu. The U.S. Geological Survey
measured the shocks between magnitude 4 and 6, some of the strongest since
A 40-car freight train derailed in the quake that included 13 gasoline
tankers was still burning Tuesday, Xinhua said, with no word on
Wounded residents lay on beds to
receive treatment after Monday's powerful earthquake, in Longnan,
northwest China's Gansu Province, Tuesday, May 13, 2008. State media
reports that the death toll from the earthquake in central China has
climbed to nearly 10,000 in the worst-hit province. (Han Chuanhao / AP)
‘I DON'T KNOW WHERE I'LL LIVE’
Zhou Chun, a 70-year-old retired mechanic, was leaving Dujiangyan with a
soiled light blue blanket draped over his shoulders.
"My wife died in the quake. My house was destroyed," he said.
"I am going to Chengdu, but I don't know where I'll live."
Zhou and other survivors were pulling luggage and clutching plastic bags
of food amid a steady drizzle and the constant wall of ambulances.
Just east of the epicenter, 1,000 students and teachers were killed or
missing at a collapsed high school in Beichuan county — a more than
six-story building reduced to a pile of rubble about two yards high,
according to Xinhua. The deaths were separate from another leveled school
in Dujiangyan where 900 students are feared dead.
Xinhua said up to 5,000 people were killed and 80 percent of the buildings
had collapsed in Beichuan, in a region of small cities and towns set amid
steep hills north of Sichuan's provincial capital of Chengdu. The
government has poured more than 16,000 troops into the area with tens of
thousands more on the way.
China's Xinhua News Agency showed two wounded men receive medical
treatment outside makeshift tents a day after a 7.9-magnitude quake struck
Sichuan Province, in neighboring Ningqiang County, north China's Shaanxi
Province, on Tuesday, May 13, 2008. (Tao Ming / AP)
In Dujiangyan, rescue teams were trying to get to a woman who was eight
months pregnant and trapped in a seven-story apartment building that
Nearby, a man in his late 50s who refused to give his name, said his
father was missing in the rubble of his home. "Yesterday, when the
earthquake happened our home collapsed really quickly and I heard my
father yell, ‘Help, help, help,’” the man said.
Premier Wen Jiabao, who flew to the area to oversee rescue efforts, said a
push was on to clear roads and restore electricity as soon as possible.
"We must try our best to open up roads to the epicenter and rescue people
trapped in disaster-hit areas," he told an early morning emergency meeting
China's Ministry of Health issued an appeal for blood donations to help
the victims of the quake.
Fifteen missing British tourists were believed in that area at the time of
the quake and were "out of reach," Xinhua reported.
They were likely visiting the Wolong Nature Reserve, home to more than 100
giant pandas, whose fate also was not known, Xinhua said. Xinhua reported
that 60 pandas at another breeding center in Chengdu were safe.
Soldiers carted the wounded out of the rubble in Sichuan Province, China,
on Tuesday after the deadly earthquake that rocked China the day before.
(By Chen Xie, Xinhua via AP)
ANOTHER EVENT TO TARNISH OLYMPIC RUN-UP
The disaster comes less than three months before the start of the Beijing
Olympics. The tragedy is just the latest event to tarnish the run-up to
the event meant to showcase China's rise that has been marked by internal
strife and anti-China sentiment abroad.
The Olympics torch relay will continue unaltered through the
quake-affected area next month, Beijing organizers said.
Expressions of sympathy and offers of help poured in from the United
States, Japan and the European Union, among others.
The government said it would welcome outside aid. Foreign Ministry
spokesman Qin Gang said relief authorities "are ready to make contact with
relevant countries and organizations."
Rescuers search for victims in the debris of a hospital after the
earthquake in Dujiangyan, in southwest China's Sichuan province. (AP)
Russia was sending a plane with rescuers and aid, the country's Interfax
news agency reported.
AID, BUT NOT AID WORKERS, WELCOME
But Wang, the disaster relief official, said international aid workers
would not be allowed to travel to the affected area.
"We welcome funds and supplies, we can't accommodate personnel at this
point," he said.
China's Ministry of Finance said it had allocated around $123 million in
aid for quake-hit areas.
The quake was China's deadliest since 1976, when 240,000 people were
killed in the city of Tangshan, near Beijing in 1976.
Financial analysts said the quake would have only a limited impact on the
country's booming economy.
Race to plug dam as death toll rises
Last Updated: 3:02PM BST 14/05/2008
Two thousand Chinese soldiers are working
to plug an "extremely dangerous" cracks in a
dam upriver from the earthquake-hit town of
The official Xinhua news agency said that
2,000 troops had been sent to work on the
Zipingku Dam, just north of the provincial
capital of Chengdu.
The new criss comes as rescue workers are
struggling to reach nearly 60,000 people who
remain missing near the epicentre of the
Sichuan earthquake, prompting fears that the
death toll will continue to soar.
This morning officials speaking from the
epicentre of Monday's 7.9 magnitude
earthquake in Sichuan province said that
entire towns in the area had been 'razed to
the ground' and left without a single house
Xinhua, the state's official news agency,
reported this morning that 178 children from
one school in northern Sichuan province had
been found dead, buried under the rubble
while they were napping, adding to the
official death toll of nearly 15,000.
A British embassy rapid reaction team
this morning flew into Chengdu, the
provincial capital of Sichuan, to help
co-ordinate the search for Britons who went
missing after the disaster.
The British ambassador to China, Sir
William Ehrman, also arrived in Chengdu this
morning to help trace 19 members of a tour
party that was in a coach travelling to the
Wolong panda reserve when the earthquake
struck on Monday.
Today China poured 50,000 troops into
Sichuan in an attempt to find any remaining
survivors of the earthquake among the mud,
rubble and tangled buildings.
But they had to battle to get through
landslides which had cut off Wenchuan
county, and poor weather conditions
continued to hamper aid efforts.
Just under 19,000 people are believed to
have been buried under debris in Mianyang -
one of the cities worst affected.
One steam turbine factory just outside
was almost wiped out by the quake, and 500
workers and their family members were
missing, local media reported.
Amid the grief, however, there was cause
for hope of finding more survivors today in
the levelled villages that lie under the
White Cloud Mountain.
Behind these mountains lie the epicentre
of the Sichuan earthquake, where reports
from the first rescuers speak of tens of
thousands of missing and dead.
In Wudu village, some 20 miles from the
epicentre, most of the brick and tile houses
have collapsed. The worst building affected
was the school, where 130 children have been
brought out dead, and another 150 are buried
beneath the rubble.
But all morning rescuers had heard the
weak voice of a 12-year-old boy crying out
from beneath. His leg was trapped under a
concrete stanchion, but two more were
balanced against each other to protect him
in a triangle of space.
A nurse from the village clinic managed
to attach an intravenous drip to his arm
before he lapsed into unconsciousness.
First a crane and then, more gently,
workers from the local volunteer rescue team
lifted away chunks of concrete. Finally,
there were calls for the doctor, then, a few
minutes later, shouts and applause.
When they brought him down on a
stretcher, he looked weak, but he was still
breathing. Locals said his name was Li Ke as
he was rushed away to an ambulance.
Yang Jie, head of the volunteer team, put
together four years ago to deal with exactly
this sort of emergency, warned it was too
soon to say if he would survive.
“We brought out one or two yesterday who
were still alive but died later,” she said.
“This boy’s pulse was weak.”
The primary school was just starting
afternoon lessons when the building shook.
“I didn’t know what was happening, I just
ran,” said Li Tingting, 12. “Then a teacher
pulled me clear. I am one of three or four
in my class who survived.”
Relatives came to dig out the rubble
themselves while they waited for the army to
arrive. Zhang Wanling, 56, rescued his
two-year-old granddaughter from the
kindergarten, a separate building still
standing, though at a crazy angle.
In any case, there is little other
consolation for the villages of this region
immediately to the east of Wenchuan, the
Whole streets of houses and shops have
collapsed. Elsewhere in Wudu, outside the
primary school, scores of people are said to
have died, including most of the village
officials. Forty are still buried.
Further into the mountains, the village
of Baiguo lost 60 people, including 18 from
its small school of 40 children. Two remain
underneath, but the army have given up the
search, and moved on to other parts of the
Village after village has a similar
story. In all, this county is known to have
lost more than 2,000 dead, a conservative
estimate. In neighbouring Wenchuan, rescuers
say 60,000 people are unaccounted for, while
in Beichuan to the north there are also
Meanwhile, all along the roads, local
people are pouring into the towns in the
search of shelter and food. “Water is now
the most important thing,” said Gao Kaiying,
a Baiguo kindergarten teacher.
Trucks were beginning to travel up the
main roads carrying boxes of noodles and
biscuits, only to be stormed by desperate
crowds. “They had better set up a
distribution system, or we will be stealing
what we can,” said one man.
In Mianzhu, where rescuers said the death
toll had risen to 3,000, about 500 people
were pulled out alive from crushed
A team of 1,300 soldiers and medical
staff arrived on foot in Wenchuan, the
county where the earthquake struck just
before 2.30pm on Monday.
In Yingxiu, a town of 12,000 people, only
2,300 had been found alive, He Biao, the
director of the prefecture's emergency
office, told state television.
In another south-western town, 80 per
cent of homes had collapsed, along with
roads and bridges, and altogether in the
county 60,000 people were unaccounted for,
"They could hear people under the debris
calling for help, but no one could, because
there were no professional rescue teams," he
The People's Liberation Army said 50,000
troops were working in the affected region.
But, though paratroops have been ordered to
drop into Wenchuan, helicopter operations
are being hampered by heavy rain and fog
across much of the area.
"What we most need is medicine," Mr He
said. "There is no medicine, there are no
doctors and after such a long time, no
British agencies including Oxfam and Save
the Children are helping with the relief
effort, sending expert teams to the region.
David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary,
praised China's "exemplary" response to
disaster, in comparison to the "callous"
response of the Burmese authorities.
Even if a majority of the missing are
found safe and well, the number of deaths is
sure to escalate well beyond the 12,000 so
The Olympic torch relay will be scaled
back to mark the disaster, organisers said.
China: Quake death toll could
WILLIAM FOREMAN, Associated Press
LUOSHUI TOWN, China - Troops dug
burial pits in this quake-shattered town
and black smoke poured from crematorium
chimneys elsewhere in central China as
priorities began shifting Thursday from
the hunt for survivors to dealing with
the dead. Officials said the final toll
could more than double to 50,000.
As the massive military-led recovery
operation inched farther into regions
cut off by Monday's quake, the
government sought to enlist the public's
help with an appeal for everything from
hammers to cranes and, in a turnabout,
began accepting foreign aid missions,
the first from regional rival
Millions of survivors left homeless
or too terrified to go indoors faced
their fourth night under tarpaulins,
tents or nothing at all as workers
patched roads and cleared debris to
reach more outlying towns in the
Chinese President Hu Jintao flew
Sichuan to support victims and
express "appreciation to the public and
cadres in the disaster zone," the Xinhua
State media said that rescuers had
finally reached all 58 counties and
townships severely damaged.
Health officials said there have been
no outbreaks of disease so far, with
workers rushing to inoculate survivors
against disease, supply them with
drinking water, and find ways to dispose
of an overwhelming number of corpses.
"There are still bodies in the hills,
and pits are being dug to bury them,"
said Zhao Xiaoli, a nurse in the ruined
town of Hanwang. "There's no way to
bring them down. It's too dangerous."
But the ministry said on its Web site
that to prevent disease, bodies should
be cleaned on the spot and buried as
soon as possible.
Troops in the town of Luoshui in a
quake-ravaged area used a mechanical
shovel to dig a pit on a hilltop. Two
bodies wrapped in white sheets lay
beside it. Down the hill sat four mounds
In a sign of nervousness, 50 troops
lined the road outside Luoshui. Five
farmers watched them dig the burial pit,
after performing brief funerary rites.
Local police detained an Associated
Press reporter and photographer who took
photos of the scene, holding them in a
government compound for 3 1/2 hours
before releasing them without
Across the quake zone in Dujiangyan,
troops in face masks collected corpses
and loaded them onto a flatbed truck.
Thick black smoke streamed from the twin
chimneys of the town's crematorium.
Fears about damage to a major dam in
the quake zone appeared to ease. The
Zipingpu dam had reportedly suffered
cracks from the disaster, but there was
no repair work or extra security at the
dam when it was reached Thursday by an
AP photographer, indicating the threat
to the structure had likely passed.
People trying to hike into Wenchuan
walked on top of the dam as water
spilled from an outlet, lowering levels
in the reservoir and alleviating
pressure on the dam.
Just behind the dam, soldiers set up
a staging area preparing speed boats to
lower into the reservoir and ferry
soldiers in lifejackets, engineers and
medical staff up river to Yingxiu, a
town flattened by the quake.
The government says "the dam will
hold, but then the longer-term question
is what to do with it — to keep it or
dismantle it," said Andrew Mertha of
Washington University in St. Louis,
author of a book on Chinese dams, China's
Water Warriors: Citizen Action and
The emergency headquarters of the
State Council, China's Cabinet, said the
confirmed death toll had reached 19,509
— up more than 4,500 from the day
before. The council said deaths could
rise to 50,000, state media reported.
The provincial government said more
than 12,300 remained buried and another
102,100 were injured in Sichuan, where
the quake was centered.
Experts said hope was quickly fading
for anyone still caught in the wreckage
of homes, schools, offices and factories
that collapsed in the magnitude-7.9
quake, the most powerful in three
decades in quake-prone China.
"Generally speaking, anyone buried in
an earthquake can survive without water
and food for three days," said Gu
Linsheng, a researcher with Tsinghua
University's Emergency Management
Research Center. "After that, it's
usually a miracle for anyone to
Amazing survival stories did emerge,
and were seized on by Chinese media
whose blanket coverage has been
dominated by images of carnage.
In Dujiangyan, a 22-year-old woman
was pulled to safety after more than
three days trapped under debris. Covered
in dust and peering out through a small
opening, she waved and was interviewed
by state television as hard-hatted
rescuers worked to free her.
"I was confident that you were coming
to rescue me. I'm alive. I'm so happy,"
the unnamed woman said on CCTV.
Wen Jiabao, who has been in the
quake zone since Monday, urged those
helping the injured to keep up their
efforts. Repeating a phrase that has
become a government mantra this week,
Vice Health Minister Gao Qiang said
every effort would be made to find
"We will never give up hope," Gao
told reporters in
Beijing. "For every thread of
hope, our efforts will increase a
hundredfold. We will never give up."
With more than 130,000 soldiers and
police mobilized in the relief effort,
roads were cleared Thursday to two key
areas that took the brunt of the quake,
with workers making it to Wenchuan at
the epicenter and also through to
Beichuan county, the
Xinhua News Agency reported.
Communication cables were also
reconnected to Wenchuan.
Power was restored to most of Sichuan
for the first time since the quake,
although Beichuan county remained
without electricity, Xinhua said.
Much of the official publicity
dwelled on efforts to reach the trapped
but actual ground operations focused on
delivering food and medical aid to
survivors and disposing of the dead.
In Dujiangyan, on the road between
the provincial capital of
Chengdu and the epicenter, a
dozen bodies lay on a sidewalk as police
and militia pulverized rubble with
cranes and back hoes. The bodies were
later lifted onto a flatbed truck,
joining some half-dozen corpses.
At the crematorium, some grieving
relatives were rushed through funeral
rites by harried workers. Scores of
bodies lay on concrete in a waiting area
— outnumbering the handful of chapels
usually used in funerals.
Thick black smoke streamed from the
crematorium's pair of chimneys as
families cleaned and dressed the dead in
funeral clothes, including fresh socks
and sneakers for children.
Fireworks were set off every few
minutes and families burned incense,
candles and spirit money. Such
traditions meant to send the dead
peacefully into the afterlife were once
banned by the communist authorities but
have revived in recent years with
free-market reforms and rising
prosperity. Burial, which likewise the
government once tried to stamp out, has
become common in the countryside,
although still difficult for people in
In an appeal posted on its Web site,
the Ministry of Information Industry
called on the Chinese to donate rescue
equipment including hammers, shovels,
demolition tools and rubber boats — 100
cranes were also needed, it said.
The International Federation of Red
Cross and Red Crescent Societies has
also issued an emergency appeal for
medical help, food, water and tents.
After initially refusing offers of
foreign aid workers,
China welcomed a Japanese rescue
team. Made up of firefighters, police,
coast guard and aid officials, the first
half of the team arrived in
Beijing on Thursday and would
head to the disaster area Friday, Xinhua
Japan and China have been at odds
for years over disputed borders, Japan's
treatment of its wartime invasion of
China, anti-Japanese protests in China,
and general Japanese unease over
Beijing's rapidly growing diplomatic,
military and economic power. Leaders of
the two countries met in
Tokyo earlier this month to try
to resolve their differences.
The Foreign Ministry said Russian,
South Korean and Singaporean teams would
China had so far received
international aid worth more than $100
million and materials worth more than
$10 million, Foreign Ministry spokesman
Qin Gang said at a briefing. But it
still needed supplies of tents, clothes,
communication equipment, machines for
disaster relief, and medicines, he said.
"The Chinese authorities have done a
fantastic job mobilizing troops, but
troops are not everything. You need
specialist teams with equipment
otherwise you're not going to find
them," said John Holland, operations
director of Rapid UK, a search and
rescue charity with two decades of
experience handling international
Associated Press writers Audra Ang in
Mianyang, Christopher Bodeen in
Dujiangyan, and Cara Anna and Anita
Chang in Beijing contributed to this
Survivors pulled from rubble of China
By AUDRA ANG, Associated Press Writer
BEICHUAN, China - Rescuers pulled
survivors from the rubble Friday who had
been buried for four days as a strong
aftershock sparked landslides near the
epicenter of this week's powerful
The first foreign rescue workers
since Monday's magnitude 7.9 temblor
were allowed to the scene, and
helicopters dropped leaflets urging
people to "unite together" and providing
survival tips. Officials have said the
quake's final toll could reach 50,000.
A day past what experts call the
critical three-day window for finding
survivors, rescuers pulled a nurse to
safety who had been trapped for 96 hours
in the debris of a clinic in Beichuan
county, Xinhua reported.
A call from the ruins of an apartment
building drew a group of volunteers, who
spent more than four hours using hands
and spades to rescue a middle-aged
woman. Brought to the surface, she could
not speak and was given to medics.
"She had the will to live," said Xu
Tao, one of the volunteers, a
demobilized soldier and now an office
worker in the eastern city of
Tangshan. "I'm just exhausted."
About 10 people were pulled free
Friday. Survivors also were being found
elsewhere, with a man pulled from the
wreckage of a fertilizer plant near
An aftershock rattled parts of
central Sichuan province Friday
afternoon, the official
Xinhua News Agency said, citing
its reporters at the scene. A number of
vehicles were buried on a road leading
to the epicenter, and casualties were
U.S. Geological Survey said the
latest tremor measured magnitude 5.5,
one of the strongest among dozens that
have shaken the area.
Education and housing officials,
meanwhile, took the rare move of
fielding questions online from angry
Chinese citizens over the many children
who died in the quake. The official
death toll had risen to about 22,069 on
Friday, and another 14,000 still were
buried in Sichuan.
The government said it would
investigate why so many school buildings
collapsed in the quake — destroying
about 6,900 classrooms, not including
the hardest-hit counties — and severely
punish anyone responsible for shoddy
More than 4 million apartments and
homes had been damaged or destroyed in
Sichuan province, according to Housing
Minister Jiang Weixin. Jiang said the
water supply situation was "extremely
serious" in Sichuan, and not flowing at
all in 20 cities and counties.
Caring for the untold tens of
thousands or more survivors across the
earthquake zone was stretching
Shifang's town square became a tented
encampment holding 2,000 people and
coordinator Li Yuanshao said there
weren't enough tents. Many had walked
from surrounding towns with few
"We brought almost nothing, only the
clothes we are wearing," said Zhang
Xinyong, a junior in high school who had
walked several hours to the camp. They
were sleeping on donated bamboo mats and
In the town of Yingxiu, helicopters
dropped leaflets urging people to "unite
together" and giving survival tips like
not to drink dirty water. Power and
water remained cut off, forcing dazed,
exhausted locals to hike 40 yards up a
steep hill to a spring to fetch water.
On another hillside, at least 80
corpses in plastic body bags were placed
into a trench dug by soldiers.
Dozens of people trudged up a winding
mountain road to Beichuan, carrying
backpacks and bags with food and medical
supplies, on a quest for missing
Liu Jingyong, a 43-year-old migrant
worker searching for his cousin,
traveled two days by bus and now foot
just to get near his relative's home.
"I have not had any information from
him," Liu said. "This is so hard on me."
One villager, Pan Guihui, stood on
the side of the road with a vacant look
on her face.
She and her husband had just hiked 13
hours with her 1-year-old child, father
and two brothers away from their
destroyed village further up the
mountain. They had stayed in the rubble
until rescue workers arrived and ordered
them out because of fears of landslides.
"I have just been so frightened this
whole time. I don't know what we are
going to do," said Pan, 35. The only
belongings the family had were some
clothes and a little food, among
hundreds camped along the road. "We've
lost everything. There's nothing left of
our village, nothing left of our home."
As she spoke, hundreds of soldiers
marched by in long columns out of
Beichuan, some carrying shovels.
In the city of Hanwang, Zhou Furen
walked hours by foot — borrowing the
army green shoes she was wearing — to a
factory where her son had worked and
"I've been coming here every day,
sitting here in the early morning,
waiting," she said, weeping. "He's been
missing for more than three days now.
But for my son I would come every day."
President Hu Jintao made his
first trip to the disaster zone,
rallying troops among the massive relief
operation of some 130,000 soldiers and
"The challenge is still severe, the
task is still arduous and the time is
pressing," Hu was quoted as saying by
Xinhua. "Quake relief work has entered
into the most crucial phase. We must
make every effort, race against time and
overcome all difficulties to achieve the
final victory of the relief efforts."
The first international rescue crews
arrived in the disaster area, after
China dropped its initial
reluctance to accept foreign personnel.
Japanese rescuers started work early
Friday, and teams from
South Korea later joined
operations, Xinhua reported.
It was the first time ever that China
accepted outside professionals for
domestic disaster relief, Foreign
Ministry counselor Li Wenliang told
The government said it had allocated
a total of $772 million for earthquake
relief, according to the central bank's
Web site, up sharply from $159 million
two days ago.
China also has received $457 million
in donated money and goods for rescue
efforts, according to the Ministry of
Civil Affairs, including $83 million
from 19 countries and four international
Given the widespread destruction, AIR
Worldwide — a catastrophe risk modeling
firm — estimated losses to both insured
and uninsured property would likely
exceed $20 billion.
Associated Press writers Tini Tran in
Hanwang and Anita Chang in
Beijing contributed to this
China quake area over flood fears
Last Updated: Saturday, May 17,
2008 | 10:28 AM ET
The confirmed death toll
rose Saturday to 28,881,
government spokesman Guo
Weimin said. The number was
expected to rise because
thousands of people remain
buried in the rubble of
Thousands of residents,
along with relief workers
survivors, left Beichuan
city in China's Sichuan
province for higher ground
on Saturday after reports
that a river may burst its
banks and flood the area.
People carry their
belongings on a tractor as
they evacuate Mianyang, one
of the cities hit hard by
Some rivers in the region
have become blocked by
landslides rattled loose in
last Monday's 7.9-magnitude
Soldiers carried older
people out of the city of
Beichuan, one of the areas
hit hardest, while survivors
cradled babies on a road
jammed with vehicles and
The official Xinhua
News Agency said earlier
that a lake in Beichuan
county "may burst its bank
at any time," but did not
give details on why the
water was rising.
Chinese officials have
previously said they believe
at least 50,000 people have
More survivors were
pulled from the rubble
Saturday, including a young
boy who was trapped for more
than 100 hours.
Nearly five million
people have been left
homeless by the quake, which
devastated China's southwest
The Chinese government
estimates that 10 million
people have been directly
affected by the destruction
of an estimated four million
homes and apartments.
Thousands flee on China lake bank
2008. All Rights Reserved.
China: Earthquake buried 32
sources of radiation
May 20 09:32 AM US/Eastern
By ANITA CHANG
Associated Press Writer
BEIJING (AP) - More than 30
sources of radiation were
buried by debris from the
massive earthquake in
central China last week and
all have either been
recovered or safely cordoned
off, state media reported
A French nuclear expert
said the radioactive sources
likely came from materials
used in hospitals, factories
or in research, not for
The Chinese government
has previously said all
nuclear facilities affected
by the May 12 earthquake
were safe and under control,
but did not give any details
about which sites were
affected or whether any were
But the quake buried 32
sources of radiation under
rubble in Sichuan province,
the heart of the disaster
zone, Xinhua News Agency
reported, citing Minister of
Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian.
All but two have been recovered,
and the remaining two have been
located, cordoned and will soon be
transported to a safer location,
Xinhua did not elaborate on any
potential threat to the public and
did not provide details on the
radioactive sources beyond calling
them "nuclear facilities and
radioactive sources for civilian
Though Sichuan has no commercial
nuclear power plants, the province
has extensive military and nuclear
weapons research facilities. The
headquarters for China's nuclear
weapons design facility is in
Mianyang and a plutonium processing
facility is in Guangyuan, both
cities damaged by the quake.
In response to the quake, the
military sent soldiers to protect
nuclear sites and the country's
nuclear safety agency notified staff
to be prepared in case of an
China's main government Web site
and a state-run newspaper described
"nuclear facilities" and
"radioactive sources" as including
power plants, reactors, and sites
for fuel production and waste
disposal, as well as materials used
for scientific research and medical
An official at a French nuclear
watchdog who has seen reports from
the Chinese nuclear safety agency
said materials found in the rubble
appeared to come from hospitals,
factories or laboratories and were
not for used for making nuclear fuel
"It doesn't shock me that there
would be radioactive items found,"
particularly hospital equipment,
said Thierry Charles, director of
plant safety at the French Institute
for Radiological Protection and
An unknown number of hospitals
were damaged or destroyed in the
earthquake. The Sichuan province
health department listed 489 major
hospitals in areas that were hardest
Workers removing radioactive
material would first find it with
detection devices, then extract the
material and place it in a sealed
container quickly, Charles said.
Then it would be repaired or
disposed of as nuclear waste.
Information so far suggests "a
good reaction by the Chinese teams,"
However, he said risks remain,
primarily from any materials that
have not been retrieved or sealed.
People who remain in close proximity
could receive excessive doses of
There was also a risk that people
could be exposed to radioactivity if
some materials were crushed in a
building collapse, for example, he
Overall, he did not foresee a
major risk to groundwater or health
because most of the material was
probably metal equipment, not fuel
or something that disperses more
The French watchdog agency has
previously said that China reported
"light damage" to unspecified
nuclear facilities that were being
dismantled before the quake.
Associated Press Writer Angela
Charlton in Paris contributed to
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.
All rights reserved
Deadly Aftershock Jolts Sichuan As Mourning Begins
1,000 hurt and three killed on eve of nationwide silence to start
three days of recognition of disaster victims
May 19, 2008
Tania Branigan in Dujiangyan
China will begin three days of mourning with a nationwide silence at
2.28pm this afternoon, precisely one week after the 7.9 magnitude
Photo: Panoramic photograph made from
multiple shots from the middle of Beichuan after the earthquake in
China's Sichuan province. (Dan Chung/ Guardian)
Air raid sirens and horns of vehicles,
trains and ships will be sounded in grief at the end of a three-minute
silence and national flags will fly at half-mast across the country and
at Chinese embassies worldwide.
Beijing Olympic organisers said in a statement that the torch relay -
due to reach Sichuan next month - would also be suspended for three days
"to express our deep mourning to the victims of the earthquake".
The State Council announcement came as it emerged that three more people
died and 1,000 were injured when a powerful aftershock hit Jiangyou
city, Sichuan province, in the early hours of yesterday.
Xinhua, the state news agency, reported that the aftershock destroyed
houses and damaged 230 miles of roads and six bridges.
The confirmed death toll from the quake rose to 32,476 and the council -
China's cabinet - said that 220,109 were injured. Officials have said
the final death toll is expected to surpass 50,000.
Rescue attempts were given impetus by the freeing of a handful of
Xinhua reported that rescuers amputated the legs of a woman to free her
after six days trapped under a flattened power plant in Yingxiu town, at
the quake's epicentre, while a man survived with head injuries after
being pulled from a collapsed office building in Maoxian county to the
northeast. A "slightly bruised" man was also saved from a collapsed
hospital after 139 hours.
But teams acknowledged that few survivors were likely to be found at
this stage and attention is turning to dealing with the dead. Witnesses
have reported mass graves in several of the worst-hit spots, while staff
at a crematorium said that all the facilities in the district had been
at full stretch.
The sheer number of deaths, and the need to dispose of bodies quickly
given Sichuan's hot climate, has led to many being cremated or buried
before any surviving relatives can identify them. But experts are taking
DNA samples and photographs, offering the bereaved some prospect of
finding out what happened to their loved ones.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was critical that clean
water and hygiene facilities were soon restored, as millions of people
continued to sleep under canvas or tarpaulins across the region.
Continuing tremors have made many reluctant to return home even if their
houses appear undamaged.
"Ensuring supply of food and safe drinking water and trying to restore
good sanitation are critical because these are basic transmission routes
for communicable diseases," said Hans Troedsson, WHO's representative in
WHO added that while dead bodies were distressing for survivors, they
did not pose a major health risk.
"There is no public health threat from dead bodies and this
misapprehension causes unnecessary diversion of staff and resources at a
critical time," said Dr Arturo Pesigan, technical officer for emergency
and humanitarian action in the region.
Chinese health officials have said there have not been any disease
outbreaks so far and in some quake-hit areas officials and troops have
set up better shelters with showers and drinking water.
In a rare public briefing in Beijing yesterday, senior officials from
the People's Liberation Army (PLA) told reporters that they had
responded to the disaster immediately - sending the first team to the
zone within 14 minutes of the shock.
The specialist relief team included members who worked in the earthquake
that hit northern Pakistan in 2005, said Major General Ma Jian of the
PLA's high command.
"We feel our troops should be able to quickly respond to any danger,
including carrying out diversified military operations. So, in peaceful
times our troops are prepared to respond to natural disasters," he
He also told reporters that nuclear facilities in the quake zone were
The PLA is the world's largest standing army with well over 2 million
members. Up to 150,000 soldiers and paramilitary police have taken part
in the relief and rescue effort.
China has also welcomed search and rescue teams from Japan, Russia,
South Korea and Singapore, after initial resistance.
But yesterday a British disaster rescue charity said it had been
prevented from sending a specialist team to the earthquake zone.
Julie Ryan, spokeswoman for International Rescue Corps, said 10
volunteers had flown to Hong Kong the day after the shock, in the hope
that they could help.
She added that they left on Saturday after the Chinese government said
it did not have the resources to manage their work.
China earthquake: UN chief
visits disaster zone as toll reaches 60,000
The death toll from the China earthquake has reached 60,560 and
could rise to 80,000 or more, the Chinese government said today.
The news came as Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, visited
the quake region.
Ban flew to Yingxiu, about 40 miles south-east of the
epicentre, in Sichuan province, where he met the Chinese premier,
Wen Jiabao, and promised to help with reconstruction.
"If we work hard, we can overcome this," he said. "The whole
world stands behind you and supports you."
Experts were searching for 15 radiation sources buried in
the rubble, and survivors were moved from possible danger areas
downstream on rivers dammed by landslides.
Officials also confirmed that thousands of injured victims
would be moved to neighbouring provinces as Sichuan's hospitals
struggled to avoid being overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster.
Rescue workers were continuing to find survivors in the
Two more were pulled out more than 216 hours after the quake
struck. A further 26,221 people were still missing in Sichuan,
where the authorities said their priority was saving lives.
With the immediate emergency period over, efforts were under
way to improve conditions for survivors, many of whom face years
of homelessness and hospital treatment.
The health ministry said 288,000 people had been injured but
only half the 59,394 who needed hospital treatment had been
discharged as of May 21.
The Sichuan vice-governor, Li Chengyun, told Chinese media
that 8,000 to 9,000 of the injured would soon be moved to
Guangzhou, Chongqing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Kunming and Xi'an.
Orthopaedist Dr Liang Wei, of the Chengdu No 3 People's
hospital, said 80% to 90% of quake patients had suffered broken
bones, internal injuries or trauma.
Among them was 16-year-old Yang, who had his right leg
amputated after he had climbed out of the debris of Juyuan middle
school, where fewer than 300 of the 1,600 students survived.
The five million homeless will also have to move from the
makeshift refugee camps and tent communities in which they are now
The government still needs 900,000 tents, and is urging
manufacturers to make 30,000 a day.
Concerns over three dozen lakes formed by landslides remain.
With the rainy season due next month, there are fears the giant
pools could flood areas below.
Hu Bing, the deputy director of the Sichuan water resources
bureau, said: "If there is a strong aftershock or a strong
thunderstorm, there is the danger of collapse."
Officials in China rush to evacuate 80,000
By AUDRA ANG, Associated Press Writer
MIANYANG, China - Chinese officials rushed Tuesday to
evacuate another 80,000 people in the path of potential
floodwaters building up behind a quake-spawned dam as soldiers
carved a channel to try to drain away the threat.
Xinhua News Agency reported emergency
workers would try to complete the evacuation by
midnight Tuesday, taking the number of people
moved out of the threatened valley to almost
160,000, from more than 30 townships.
Tangjiashan lake in
northern Sichuan province, formed when a
massive landslide blocked a river, is one of
dozens of fragile dams created during the
earthquake that pose a new destructive threat in
the disaster zone.
Soldiers hauled explosives through the
mountains to reach the area, and the official
Chinese Daily said Tuesday on its Web site they
were "preparing to dynamite the barrier." State
television showed live footage of heavy
earth-moving equipment being used to carve out a
200-yard channel to drain the water.
"We are prepared to get rid of the trees by
chopping and explosion. After that, the second
batch of equipment will be moved in," Liu Ning,
chief engineer at the Ministry of Water Resources,
was quoted as saying on CCTV.
The lake is swelling behind a landslide near
Beichuan, one of the towns hit hardest by the May
12 tremor that devastated Sichuan.
The number of deaths from the quake has
climbed further toward an expected toll of 80,000
or more. The Cabinet said Tuesday that 67,183
people were confirmed killed — up by about 2,000
from a day earlier — and 20,790 were still
Also Tuesday, health officials said
higher-than-normal rates of
stomach pains and fever had been reported
among the millions of quake survivors, but that no
major disease outbreaks had occurred.
Some 5 million people were left homeless by
the quake, and many of them are living in tents or
makeshift communities that are clustered
throughout the disaster zone.
Qi Xiaoqiu, the director of disease
prevention at the health ministry, said the quake
had knocked out much of the region's health
infrastructure, but 12 field hospitals had been
erected and tens of thousands of health
professionals were working in the zone.
"With the destruction by the quake, the
living and sanitary conditions have worsened for
the local population," Qi told reporters in
Beijing. "Their physical conditions are
weakened (and they are) more vulnerable to
Diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis and
diarrhea remained a threat, but so far no
outbreaks had been reported, he said.
About 1,800 soldiers clambered up mountain
paths to reach Tangjiashan with plans to dig and
blast their way through the debris and drain the
water, Xinhua reported. It did not say when the
blasting operation would take place.
The Tangjiashan lake is one of dozens
created when the magnitude 7.9 quake sent millions
of tons of earth and rock tumbling into some of
the region's narrow valleys. Some rising
floodwaters have already swallowed villages.
Tangjiashan now holds 34 billion gallons of
water and was rising by more than three feet every
24 hours, Liu said.
Xinhua said troops were working around the
clock to remove at least 1.8 million cubic feet of
debris to build the channel, which would not be
completed before June 5.
Pressure is building behind the dams as
rivers and streams feed into the newly formed
lakes. Officials fear the loose soil and debris
walls of the dams could crumble easily, especially
once the water level reaches the top and begins
Adding to the threat, thunderstorms were
forecast for parts of
Sichuan this week — a foretaste of the
coming summer rainy season that accounts for more
than 70 percent of the two feet of rain that falls
on the area each year.
Also in northern Sichuan in Qingchuan
county, 1,300 people have been evacuated from
Guanzhuang because of landslide worries. Local
official Li Guoping said plans were being drawn up
to evacuate all 23,000 people in the area if
He said landslides that blocked rivers had
formed 10 lakes, but only three had the potential
to be dangerous if there were heavy rains.
"I worry about the start of the rainy
season," Li said.
Aftershocks have rumbled across the region
since the major quake — including one Tuesday
measured by the U.S. Geological Survey at
magnitude 5.7 — adding to jitters among survivors
and in some cases causing more damage. No damage
or injuries were reported from Tuesday's tremor.
A major temblor Sunday knocked down
thousands of buildings that had survived the
initial quake, and killed eight people.
One quake expert said Tuesday that
aftershocks in the area could continue for several
"Judging from previous earthquakes of a
similar magnitude, this time the aftershocks may
last for two or three months," He Yongnian, a
former deputy director of
China Seismological Bureau, was quoted as
saying by Xinhua.
The aftershocks were likely to grow weaker
as time passed, he said.
Talking Empty Heads
I received another
"conspiracy" email where a total lack of "Cosmic Consciousness" can
only lead the "normal" souls to
that science has nowadays the capacity to produce earthquakes or other
natural disasters. It is amazing how the regular "Joe six pack's" mind
gets wild because he has made no efforts to gather spiritual
information to acknowledge the Universal scheme of things creating
But this is a
"natural" response where the young soul relies trust and believes on
science (or medical doctors) not realizing that our "mental snobs"
making up the core of all sciences (including NASA or the NWS)
HAVE NOT YET being able to either "predict" the time or the
location of an earthquake. But again "Joe six packs" doe not have
enough common sense to think otherwise I guess and offer more credits
where there is
China Orders Strike Against US For Catastrophic Earthquake?
Date: Thursday, 29 May 2008, 4:31 p.m.
May 30, 2008
China Orders Strike Against US For Catastrophic Earthquake
By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers
Russian Foreign Ministry reports are stating today the Prime Minister
Putin’s ‘sudden’ diplomatic trip to France was made at the behest of
China’s President Hu in order to ‘warn’ the European Union not to become
involved with the US following what is widely expected to be a
‘retaliatory strike’ against the United States, and who the Chinese
military has blamed for the catastrophic May 12th earthquake that has
killed nearly 90,000 human beings.
Chinese and Russian Military scientists, these reports say, are concurring
with Canadian researcher, and former Asia-Pacific Bureau Chief of Forbes
Magazine, Benjamin Fulford, who in a very disturbing video released from
his Japanese offices to the American public, details how the United States
attacked China by the firing of a 90 Million Volt Shockwave from the
Americans High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP)
facilities in Alaska.
So powerful was this Shockwave, Britain’s Times Online News Service is
reporting that the entire atmosphere over the Chinese earthquake zone
became mysteriously changed 30 minutes prior to the 8.0 Magnitude Trembler
“Can clouds predict earthquakes? YouTube has footage of strange
multicoloured clouds seen just before the recent earthquake struck Sichuan
province in China.
The first impression is of a rainbow smeared on to small scraps of clouds,
a phenomenon best known in a circumzenithal halo. This is created when
sunlight shines through cirrus clouds full of tiny hexagonal ice crystals
shaped like plates. The crystals behave like glass prisms, splitting the
light into a bow with the colours of the spectrum, often brighter than a
But one puzzle is that the colours in the Chinese clouds were upside down
from a normal circumzenithal halo – red pointing towards the horizon and
blue towards the Sun, instead of the other way round.”
Russian scientists are further speculating that the United States strike
against China was ‘exactly timed’ to coincide with the dangerous
experiments ongoing at Large Hadron Collider for the European Organization
for Nuclear Research (CERN), and which we had previously reported on in
our May 13th report titled “CERN ‘Nailed Heart Of Earth’ With China Quake,
Russian Military Analysts note that though China’s Military has ordered is
vast submarine fleet to ‘disperse’ throughout the Pacific Ocean, the
Chinese ‘attack’ against the United States would, most likely, take a form
economic warfare instead of an actual clashing of forces.
More disturbing, however, in these reports is China’s urging of both Syria
and Turkey not to allow more water into mighty rivers of the Euphrates and
Tigris, which the Iraqis are warning are running dry due to the severe
drought in that war-torn Nation.
The importance of this latest move by China is the newly signed Defense
Pact signed between Iran and Syria which would allow Chinese Military
Forces permission to use Iranian territory to come to the aid of Syria.
It should be further noted that the Christian Bibles New Testament Book of
Revelations (Chapter 16, Verse 12) prophesied that the Euphrates will dry
up in preparation for the Battle of Armageddon and would be crossed by an
Eastern Army of 200 million soldiers, of which in our World today only
China is able to field and have the ability to reach by land alone.
As the United States and China battle for their very survival in a World
becoming increasing volatile due to the rapidly growing shortages of both
food and fuel, one does indeed wonder if the End Times are now upon us
[link to HYPERLINK "
Earthquake death toll rises to 69,016
Updated: 2008-06-01 16:58
BEIJING - The death toll in China's major earthquake rose to
69,016 as of noontime Sunday, a report from the Information Office
of the State Council said.
A total of 368,545 people were
injured and 18,830 others were still missing in the 8.0-magnitude
quake that jolted southwestern Sichuan Province on May 12.
A total of 45.55 million people were affected by quake, of whom
15.15 million were relocated, according to the office.
Hospitals had treated 89,818 injured survivors as of Saturday
noon, of whom 59,877 were discharged, 12,797 were still being
treated and 9,245 were transferred outside of Sichuan for further
As of Saturday noon, domestic and foreign donations stood at
40.1 billion yuan (about US$ 5.8 billion) and 10.78 billion yuan
in cash and goods were forwarded to the disaster area, the office
Government disaster relief funds hit 22.57 billion yuan
including18.29 billion yuan from the central government and 4.28
billion yuan from local governments, according to the Ministry of
Relief supplies including 678,900 tents, 4.37 million
cotton-padded quilts, 10.7 million garments, 590,000 tonnes of
fuel oil and 1.2 million tonnes of coal were sent to the quake-hit
As of Friday, rescuers had found and evacuated 782,004 people,
of whom 6,541 were dug out from under debris.
Also, 4,900 temporary shelters were set up in quake areas and
6,700 temporary shelters were being erected and 29,900 were being
shipped to the quake regions.
In the 24 hours ending Saturday noon, 215 aftershocks were
monitored in southwest China's quake zone, according to the China
No aftershocks above 4.0 on the Richter scale were detected and
all the 215 aftershocks were measured below 3.9, the office said,
adding that 9,519 aftershocks had been monitored since May 12 when
the major quake struck.
Nuclear Explosion Occurs Near Epicenter of the Sichuan
By Wu Weilin
Epoch Times Staff
Jun 03, 2008
A woman whose child was killed when the Xinjian primary
school collapsed in the May 12 earthquake, is comforted
by a relative as she is overcome by grief during a
commemoration of Children's Day on the rubble-strewn
school campus on June 1, 2008 in Dujiangyan, Sichuan
province, China. (Andrew Wong/Getty Images)
Boxun News, a Chinese-language Web site based outside
China, reported that an unnamed expert has claimed that
there was a nuclear explosion near the epicenter of the
Sichuan earthquake, based on witness reports and the
discovery of concrete rubble believed to have come from an
underground military installation. The news of this nuclear
explosion has raised questions about the cause of the
Mr. He, a local resident, stated that when the
earthquake occurred on May 12, people saw something
erupt from the top of a mountain next to the valley,
"It looked like toothpaste being squeezed out," said
He. "No, it wasn't [magma]. It was these concrete
pieces. The eruption lasted about three minutes."
According to a China News Services
(CNS) report on May 31, 2008, paramedics
from People's Liberation Army (PLA)
hospitals and psychologists from
Beijing onsite May 23 found concrete
debris at the bottom of a valley near the
epicenter. The half-mile-wide valley was
covered with debris 10 - 20 inches thick,
covering the valley floor for almost 1.5
No major construction was occurring in
the area at the time of the earthquake.
The thickness of the concrete pieces
seemed to match that used in China's
underground military bases, according to
Boxun's expert. He explained that while
there are documented cases that earthquakes
cause volcanic eruptions, there are no
accounts of eruptions ejecting concrete.
Based on the CNS report and timing of the
eruption at the scene, there seemed to be no
evidence of natural volcanic activity. The
expert stated he was certain a nuclear
explosion shattered the underground concrete
structures, hurling debris into the air.
At least one of China's nuclear military
bases is located in Mianyang City, Sichuan,
near the epicenter.
Chinese Internet surfers commented
explosion was not confined to the
underground test area and has caused
radiation contamination, stating that in a
call to Beijing he recommended authorities
accept help from other countries, seal the
area, find and provide help to those who had
been exposed to contamination during the
rescue work, and take emergency measures to
prevent water contamination.
The expert believes that the nuclear
explosion caused the recent 8.0 magnitude
Sichuan earthquake in China. However, other
experts referenced by Boxun withheld
judgment as to whether the explosion caused
the earthquake or the earthquake the
here to read the original article in Chinese
Strong Aftershock Causes More Misery in China
Sunday, May 25, 2008
China Allocates $27 Million to Deal with Dangerous
By VOA News
28 May 2008
China is focusing resources on swelling lakes
formed during this month's devastating earthquake,
evacuating tens of thousands of people and mobilizing
millions of dollars to prevent massive flooding.
Heavy rains are
expected in the coming days, raising
concerns that a naturally formed dam
in quake-struck Sichuan province
could give way before workers are
able to drain water from a huge
Rescue workers have evacuated
more than 150,000 people living
below the lake.
China has allocated about $27
million to handle the so-called
quake-lakes, which were formed when
landslides blocked rivers following
the massive May 12 earthquake.
China's official Xinhua news
agency reports Wednesday that the
Ministry of Finance will use money
from the central budget to try to
avert another disaster in Sichuan
Xinhua says the earthquake
created 34 lakes, and that 28 of
them could still rupture and flood.
China announced today the death
toll from the earthquake has passed
68,000 people. Nearly 20,000 are
Japanese media report today that
China has asked Japan to send its
military to help with rescue
operations. If confirmed, it would
be the first time Japan's military
has been deployed to China since the
end of World War II.
Chinese and Japanese officials
have not commented on the reports.
information for this report was
provided by AFP and AP.
China begins to drain quake lake
by after a
China has begun to drain a lake
formed after last month's
earthquake in China's Sichuan
province in an attempt to reduce
the risks of a catastrophic flood.
A senior Chinese military official
told the state-run Xinhua news
agency that the dam across the
Tongku river was in no imminent
danger of giving way after the
A sluice channel was opened by
Chinese workers on Saturday after
heavy rains raised fears that
natural dam caused by a landslide
"The dam is in no danger of
collapse in the foreseeable
period," Fan Xiaoguang said.
Rao Xiping, head of the
in Beichuan, one of the
areas worst-hit by the
earthquake, also said that
the dam was safe for the
immediate future but that
water levels were continuing
However, Rao told Xinhua
that the water flow through
the sluice would need to
more than double in order to
satisfactorily drain the
Lives under threat
Fears that the Tangjiashan lake
would burst drove
authorities to move more
than 250,000 people as
they hurried to build the
David Hawkins, Al Jazeera's
correspondent in China, said
that 1.3 million more people
could be forced to leave the
region in the coming months.
In depth: China quake
Video: Parents anger
over collapsed schools
The potential collapse of the lake
threatened to flood an area that
is home to more than one
million people and compound the
misery in an area still reeling
from the magnitude 7.9 quake on
May 12 that killed at least 70,000
Map: Quake disaster zone
Some people displaced by the
earthquake have moved several
times as the floods threatened
those in refugee camps in central
"I can't even cry, even if I want
to. First, it was the earthquake,
now it's floods," said Yu Taichun,
a doctor who keeps watch over a
small medical centre in a tent
city of at least 2,500 people.
Yu said he has moved five times
since the quake, arriving two
weeks ago at the latest camp
overlooking the town of Qinglian,
about 30km downstream from
Zhen Yiyuan, 61, an evacuee camped
in a hillside park, said his
sister living in the destroyed
mountain village of Yuli had it
far worse, surviving only on
salvaged corn and other crops
after a few pounds of rice
airdropped after the quake ran
The provincial government
estimates that about 7,000 of the
victims were children.
The national population and family
planning commission has said
it plans to send a medical team to
the devastated area to help
parents that have lost their only
China's family planning policies
restrict most couples to one
child, although rules allow for
another baby if their child was
killed, severely injured or
The medics will reverse
sterilisation operations on
couples that want to have another
"The team, comprised of experts of
childbearing, will conduct surgery
in the quake-hit areas to provide
technological support for those
wanting to give birth to another
child," Zhang Shikun, a senior
official with China's family
planning commission, said.
Chinese authorities have
also recorded 4,700 unclaimed
children whose parents presumably
died in the quake.
Zhang Shifeng, the civil affairs
ministry official, said the final
number of orphans was expected to
be about 1,000 to 2,000, as
children were gradually are being
handed over to members of their
Two aftershocks today hit the southwestern Chinese province of
Sichuan, the site of May's devastating earthquake, with the second felt
strongly in the provincial capital Chengdu.
After the 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan on May 12, more than
69,200 people were confirmed dead and some 18,000 are still listed as
The second aftershock today occurred at 16:32 local time (9:32 a.m.
British time) and lasted for a "relatively long" time. It was measured
at 5.8 on the Richter scale and the epicentre was on the border of
Pingwu and Beichuan counties, both of which were devastated by the May
The first aftershock struck Wenchuan county, the epicentre of the May
12 disaster, about six hours earlier and was measured at 3.9 on the
At least three powerful aftershocks hit the Sichuan quake area on
July 24, killing two people and injuring dozens. The Olympic torch relay
for the August 8-24 Beijing Olympics is expected to take place in
Sichuan from August 3-5.
OTHER CHINA EARTHQUAKES ON THIS SITE
DREAMS OF THE GREAT EARTHCHANGES
- MAIN INDEX