#107 earthquake

Lately the forces of nature is wreaking havoc beyond measure, man’s control and words to describe.

Can one predict or foresee this earthquake coming? According to a source, this was predicted 5 years ago…

“Sichuan is virtually certain to experience an earthquake measuring above 7 in the next few years,” Chen Xuezhong, a senior researcher with the geophysics institute of State Seismological Bureau (SSB), wrote in a paper published in December 2002, in the periodical Recent Developments in World Seismology. (ChinaDaily)

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), this quake was the result of “motion on a northeastern striking reverse fault on the northwestern margin on the Sichuan Basin…its depth 29 kilometres below the surface.”

The earthquake of 7.8 or 7.9 richter scale in Wenchuan on May 12th, according to seismologists was as huge and disasterous as the Tangshan quake in 1976 that claimed tens or hundred of thousands lives —


The tremors were felt as far north to Beijing; east to Hongkong and Taiwan; south to Bangkok (Thailand) and west to Tibet.

To govern a huge country like China is not easy — lately the governing leaders were confronted with crisis upon crisis. I was grateful to hear their Premier Wen Jiabao went to the nearest site, Dujiangyan almost immediately, as Wenchuan closest to the epicenter of quake was inaccessible.

It was sad to receive news that many children in schools were buried under the rubbles. It was most difficult for bereaved parents to want to enter the site to scramble and look for their child and these might create pandemonium. How does one read news at Herald Tribune when soldiers cordoned off bereaved parents? If one had worked in relief disasterous areas, one understood and deemed best to leave the rescue to experts. Sometimes, it was frustrating and depressing to stand by and watch but…


In order to get to Wenchuan, rescuers and soldiers had to go on foot, even this was just as precarious and dangerous due to aftershock tremors, falling rubbles, heavy rain falls, mudslides and unimaginable but rescue a must.

In contrast to cyclone nargis in the Irrawaddy delta, Burma (Myanmar), rescue work was set in place at the earthquake in China almost immediately.

According to a friend, Wenchuan is a beautiful place and Wolong is the reserve country for pandas, I hope the magnitude of disaster was not that of the Tangshan quake. 


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