#110 earthquake 2

Living in a virtually no natural disaster island except the sea level might be rising, I cannot really enter the pains of survivors of natural disasters. However, today’s modern technological advancements and accessible to video clips and blogs, I only get a glimpse of the truth. It takes great maturity to read and watch these to assess a situation or a disaster.

It was ironic that President Hu Jintao had just returned from Japan after the massive quake.

Japan sits on the faultlines (continental & oceanic tectonic plates) — the cause of frequent earthquakes (if its epicenter is under the seas, tsunami occurs; the proximity to the density of population in a location and time of quakes could claim lives even when preventive measures were set in place); volcanoes; and hotsprings (an attraction for tourists).

I admire the Japanese for living in these challenging situations. I recall those younger days watching  documentaries on the Japanese expending huge resources and energies to building tremor-resistance skyscrapers.

During the 1995 Kobe earthquake, the government did not realise the scale of the disaster hesitated foreign aid. I read criticisms made that trained rescue dogs from around the world waited at airports while these could be searching for human lives in the rubble. US medical doctors were only able to give treatment after 3 days on arrival due to medical-licensing regulations.

The recent quake in China caused me to reflect…especially when I see video clips of school turned into rubbles or town reduced to heaps (I’ve seen pictures of towns in the US been mowed down by tornadoes). When was the school built? It was unfortunate the quake struck when students gathered for lessons. It must be most heart-breaking for parents to find their child and especially a teenager lost in the quake. They struggled and slogged to bring their child thus far only to lose one to natural disaster!

According to sources, nature did forewarn man…some elderly felt bad omen when toads flood the area and animals behaved irratically. Was the siesmic equipments not able to reveal unusual activities taking place?

Today almost a million(?) are without housing…how do survivors start living again? Natural disasters are deemed in law as Act of God, so survivors are not compensated for their losses, especially human lives.  

Actually, predicting an earthquake that will take place is still NOT possible!


Are you one of those lovers of nature? Those who love to laze around in the night gazing into the sky or looking for the lucky star or…

These past few months of 2008 saw many natural disasters around the world. At least 25 tornados swept across the US, volcano rumbling in South America, devastating cyclone nargis in Burma (Myanmar) and the 7.8 earthquake in China and…

 I read that before an earthquake occurred, there would be an unusual burst of lights in the sky like auroras –green lights emit across the sky. (view Nasa images above)

Animals were the first to sense something amiss and behaved rather oddly; trees shook…

I guess many of us today clung on to our computers or laptops or stay indoors rather than outdoors. Perhaps we are too sophisticated to go out in the open and gaze or enjoy nature any more.

Living on an island city, I was never encouraged or taught to let self go and enjoy these simple pleasures of life. I know given the freedom, I imagine I would laze around discovering nature around me rather than follow parents’ good intentions. Parents encouraged us to make it in life…never laze around… Today I believe nature has much to teach us.

Will tomorrow find many worshipping mother nature? Back to those ‘cave dwellers days’ rather, the good ole ‘lazidaisical’ days?

#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.