Monday, 19 May 2008

China earthquake: aftermath

China begins three days of mourning a week after it's worst natural tragedy since the last major earthquake thirty years ago. Following the debacle in Burma where the authorities, usually so quick to crack down on dissent, are criminally slow to react to the estimated 100,000 deaths from the cyclone, the Chinese rescue effort has been admirably rapid and efficient. It also compares favourably with the way the US government dealt with Hurricane Katrina and lost New Orleans, so the attacks on the rescue operation from some quarters are grossly unfair.

However, while some structures withstood the massive 7.9 shocks, schools bore the brunt with thousands of children caught in the collapse. As one mother says, "It wasn't the earthquake that killed our children, it was the buildings."

Deepest sympathy.

Chengdu near epicentre in Sichuan province
CNN report
Live footage from a college dorm that survived the quake
Shocking Reuters report on harrowing rescue — Blood and Treasure
Interesting and informative discussion at British Chinese Online
Coco Wang Earthquake comic strips. Harrowing and moving, a graphic artist's snapshots of the tragedy.
Photos and school construction report


Louisefeminista said...

It is utterly shocking about the structures of these schools and how they collapsed.

Madam Miaow said...

Cheers, Louise. Someone did point out on the British Chinese forum (link in post above) that at 7.9 it was absolutely massive and few structures could stand up to that. But it is looking like shoddy building work is at least one of the factors.