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Earthquake of a magnitude 7.8 reported in China *UPDATE* 'to top 50,000' killed

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posted on May, 13 2008 @ 08:35 AM
reply to post by Karlhungis

From what I caught on the news today, Japan authorized 5 million US$ today in emergency funds, and has offered anything the Chinese government needs, including the JSDF (they have handled a number of earthquake situations). Aid delivery, search teams, and medical staff are on standby. I couldn't make it downtown today, but they were passing the hat at city hall, and that will continue along with a blood drive starting tomorrow, from what I hear.

The impression I get is that it's a "tell us what you need and we'll get it to you" situation.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 08:41 AM
reply to post by vox2442

That is great to hear. I am so glad to see this is being handled so much better than the catastrophe in Burma.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 08:56 AM
International Reactions

European Union

The European Commission was closely monitoring the situation, a statement said, quoting Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel.

"The initial news from Sichuan is worrying," Mr Michel said.

"Actual information is very sketchy but it seems likely that the quake has caused substantial damage over a considerable area, and there are already reports of some loss of life.

"We are ready to assist if the need arises."


German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent her condolences to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao over the heavy loss of life.

An official statement quoted the chancellor as saying the German government was also ready to provide speedy assistance.


The Japanese government has decided to give 500 million yen in emergency grant aid to quake-hit China where the death toll neared 12,000, Foreign Ministry sources said Tuesday. The Foreign Ministry, together with the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and other ministries, are preparing for the delivery of aid including food, water and blankets, as well as the dispatch of disaster relief medical teams comprised of doctors and nurses, government officials said earlier.

China is ‘‘our neighbor and is suffering significant damage, so we would like to do whatever we can for them,’’ Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said earlier Tuesday. ‘‘On the other hand, we’ll have to see what kinds of requests there are because some countries want to do things themselves. We’ll be ready to respond anytime.’’

United States

US President George W. Bush on Monday offered his condolences to China over a devastating earthquake that killed thousands of people and said the United States "stands ready to help."

"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," Bush said in a statement.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said China had yet to ask for aid, so "what we can do as a country is offer our support and our thoughts and our prayers."


Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said here on Tuesday that his country had offered search and rescue experts to help China with an earthquake that has left at least 10,000 dead.

The government also was in discussions with Beijing about what humanitarian assistance Australia can provide, he said in a statement.

"The Australian government stands ready to provide practical assistance and has already offered Australia's expert urban search and rescue capabilities through Emergency Management Australia," the foreign minister said.

In the statement, Smith expressed condolences on behalf of all Australians. "I extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by the terrible earthquake in Sichuan province."

"Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families in Chengdu city and surrounding areas," he said.


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Monday sent a message of solace to Chinese President Hu Jintao over a disastrous earthquake in China's Sichuan province, expressing his sympathy with the quake-hit victims, Kremlin said.

"Accept my sincere and profound condolences in connection with the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan province," Medvedev said in the message.

Medvedev asked the Chinese leader to convey his words of solace to the relatives and friends of those who were killed in the quake and wished a speedy recovery of the survivors.

"We are ready to help if necessary," said the message.

New Zealand

New Zealand acting Prime Minister Michael Cullen on Tuesday extended New Zealand's sympathy to China following a large earthquake which has affected the country's southwestern region.

Reports so far suggest more than 8,000 people were dead and 20,000 injured.

On behalf of New Zealanders, the government extends its sympathy and condolences to China following the tragedy that has struck the country's Sichuan Province, Cullen said.

"China has immense capability of its own but New Zealand stands ready to assist in an appropriate way if we are asked," he added.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Tuesday pledged 300 million Hong Kong dollars (38.4 million US dollars) in aid and volunteer rescue teams for the victims of the earthquake in China's Sichuan province. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Donald Tsang announced at a press conference that a team comprising experts from the Fire Services Department and Health Department was on standby ready to fly to the affected areas.


SINGAPORE'S Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday offered to provide disaster assistance rescue teams to China's earthquake recovery work.

He conveyed this in his condolence letter to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, expressing his sympathies to the quake-hit victims in Sichuan province.

'I was deeply saddened to learn of the great loss of lives and extensive damage caused by the sudden and deadly earthquake in Sichuan province,' PM Lee said in his letter.

He praised the Chinese government's 'swift relief and rescue efforts', saying he is confident that under Premier Wen's 'able leadership, China will be able to tackle the challenges ahead and overcome this disaster'.

Mr Lee added: 'Singapore stands ready to help in any way possible, including through our Disaster Assistance Rescue Teams (DART)', if China thinks it will be useful to the recovery work.

He hopes that the affected regions will return to normalcy in the shortest possible time.

Sorry if this stuff has been posted already. I'm at school and can't really read through all 11 pages of posts.

These news articles were found through the Wikipedia page dedicated to the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake:

[edit on 5/13/08 by NovusOrdoMundi]

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 09:04 AM
I talked to a mutual aquaintance of the Baha'i' couple I know teachig english in the region and she told me that the city they are in was 40 to 50 miles from the epicenter (not good) and that all communications to the area are down, and that their daughter is flying out there today.

They are really nice people and I hope and pray everything is Okay with them.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 09:19 AM

A seismologist warned more than five years ago that based on historical records and animal studies, a strong earthquake was likely in Sichuan.

"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.

The article is still available online.

"We must be prepared for a big earthquake after 2003."

Meanwhile, ahead of Monday's deadly earthquake, many people reported seeing unusual animal behavior.

On Saturday, local media reported that hundreds of thousands of toads had appeared on the streets of Manzhu, a city about 60 km southeast of Wenchuan.

A resident surnamed Liu was quoted as saying he saw countless toads killed by passing vehicles as they crossed roads, and that he had never seen anything like it.

Similarly, on Friday, people in Taizhou, Jiangsu province, also said they saw tens of thousands of toads on the city's streets, local media said.

Experts have said animals can give advance notice of quakes, as they sense tremors before they happen.

Unfortunately, no one heeded the toads' "warning".

Thats really interesting about the toads. Here is an article that I think is talking about the toads. I can't read Chinese so if someone could translate it for us:

Also, apparently a lot of water disappeared from the Guanyin pond in the Hubei province on May 6th. The annotation on Wikipedia says "80,000 m3 of water in a Hubei pond mysteriously vanished --- accompanied by a rumbling sound".

Here's the link, although again, its in Chinese:

Take a look at the pond:

That looks pretty bad.

It appears there were some warning signs to this earthquake.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 09:29 AM
I just found out a couple of hours ago that my wife has family in the area of the quake. Some cousins and extended family. Communications aren't coming out of the area with any regularity so none of the relatives that live here in the US have been able to get any details about the family over there.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 09:38 AM
one local official in the epicentre have got contacts to outside and told the tv anchor all road totally collapsed.. under the heavy rain, air force tried several times of airborne efforts, but failed for the deadly bad weather.. a small contingent had arrived at the epicentre headed by a general of the airforce.

TV have life broadcasted more than 40 hours.i cant describe the harrowing picture and just hate that i am not a superman.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 12:51 PM
tonedef- I really hope they are all ok, Please keep us updated and lots of prayers for your wife family in this time of fear,

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 01:08 PM
500 dead at the Epicenter,

3000 reported killed in another city,

Also the other tragedy is that 150 pandas are missing, Which also is not good as there really is not many left in the world now,

The most recent survey found only 1,600 of the animals were left in the wild - 1,200 of which live in the Sichuan province, according to the WWF.

[edit on 13-5-2008 by asala]

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 03:56 PM
We've seen some new contributors from China here on ATS over the last few months. I hope they, their families & friends are all safe and well.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 05:14 PM
reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi

Animal pre-warning wsnoticed, those Chinese articles were translated pretty well in the articles. The Toad one was peculiar, in the article some people raised up the possibility of a big natural disaste, hundreds of thousands of toas were seen migrating and trying to jump to higher places....

Last night I heard the animals of the zoos are still going berserk, which means we can still expect heavy aftershocks....

We humans lost our nature sense a long time ago

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 05:17 PM

Originally posted by Charity
We've seen some new contributors from China here on ATS over the last few months. I hope they, their families & friends are all safe and well.

Thank you for your concern, we Chinese posters in China have no RL contacts, but I have seen most of the active guys from China already posted here, the other are abroad... and I am lucky enough to be in Shenzhen, didn't even felt the Earthquake, one of my colleague did.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 05:22 PM
reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi

Yes, international support is great! Politics aside, the Chinese government last night told the press in a conference that they will welcome international support, and will accept the support or request for any shortage in time from the many countries and NGOs. Material (food, medicine, tents) and equipment should be received in time to reach the disaster places. They added that because of the roadblocks caused by rockslides, difficult logistics and so on, it would be difficult to receive and coordinate international rescue teams at this time. Another 20,000 rescuers from all over the country is expected to arrive today.

[edit on 13/5/08 by IchiNiSan]

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 05:31 PM
reply to post by IchiNiSan

So the animal predictions continue? I found news on the schools in is hard to read of this It also discribes how some buildings lay in ruines as others still stand.

Do you know any more of this particular area?

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 05:36 PM
reply to post by IchiNiSan

Thank you for confirming that about the articles!

We really should take the animal behavior more seriously. They can sense things that we cannot. People in the area even said they had never seen so many toads leaving the area like that.

And it just so happens to coincide with being a few days ahead of a huge earthquake?

I think they did sense something. Maybe they didn't know exactly what it was, but they knew enough to get out of there.

That, along with the pond draining should have been of concern, as well as that seismologist warning that a major earthquake would happen in the next few years in that very area. It all should have been taken in to account.

If only the warnings would have been taken seriously. I wonder how much different this situation would be. Thousands of people would still be safe elsewhere, alive.

I'm glad to see our fellow ATS members from China are alright. I hope all of you have been able to find friends and family alive and well!

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 06:00 PM
Here's an excerpt of the prediction that Seismologist Chen Xuezhong made in December of 2002 when he published a report in the periodical 'Recent Developments in World Seismology'.

It sounds poorly translated. I used Google's website translation because the web page is originally in Chinese.

The Sichuan region since 1800 has been seven earthquakes occurred between 1900 and since more than seven in Sichuan Province in mainland China earthquake and huge earthquake in the correlation between a statistical analysis, the results are as follows: Since 1 80 0 Sichuan region since the earthquake occurred more than seven times the average interval of about 16, up to 34, a minimum of three years, the time interval in the 23 below 83 per cent. Since 1900, seven in Sichuan earthquakes average interval for 11, up to 19, a minimum of three years. Since 1900 the Sichuan region of the seven times seven earthquakes before 1 to 3 years in mainland China have occurred over the huge 7.7 earthquake. From 1976 the Sichuan region has not occurred in 26 earthquakes above seven, far more than the average time interval. In this context, November 14, 2001 in Qinghai - Xinjiang occurred at the junction of the huge 8.1 earthquake is likely to instructions in the next one to two years, Sichuan will have seven regional earthquakes. From 2003 onwards we should guard against the Sichuan region of seven earthquakes may be!

The correlation between the time intervals of earthquakes of M ≥ 7 0 occurring since 1800 and earthquakes of M ≥ 7 0 occurring since 1900 in Sichuan Province and great earthquakes of M ≥ 7 7 in the mainland of China is analyzed statistically in the paper.With the result that since 1800 the mean time intervals of earthquakes of M ≥ 7 0 in Sichuan Province is about 16 years, the longest one is 34 years and the shortest one is 3 years.The time intervals below 23 years are 83%; since 1900 the mean time intervals of earthquakes of M ≥ 7 0 in Sichuan Province is 11 years, the longest one is 19 years and the shortest one is 3 years.Since 1900 one to three years before 7 earthquakes of M ≥ 7 0 occurring in Sichuan Province , great earthquakes of M ≥ 7 7 took place in the mainland of China.Since 1976 earthquakes of M ≥ 7 0 have not taken place in Sichuan Province and the time intervals have been far exceeded.Under this background, the great earghquake of M 8 1 occurring in the boundary between Xinjiang Uygur Autonomors Region and Qinghai Province on November 14,2001 maybe predicts that an earthquake of M ≥ 7 0 will take place in Sichuan Province in one or two years of the future.Beginning with 2003 we should pay more attention to the possibility of an earthquake of M ≥ 7 0 occurring in Sichuan Province.

Here is the original web page in Chinese.

Here is the Englis h version.

There is a PDF file on there but it is saying "Service Unavailable". I'd be interested to read what Chen Xuezhong had to say in the report's entirety, so if anyone is able to download it, or finds it elsewhere, let me know how/where you got it.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 06:19 PM
reply to post by Witness2008

Actually I had a night mare seeing those screaming children last nigt
These were the same buried school schildren I saw in some of the pictures
A lot of different pictures of buried killed school childrens, even babies, and so on are being posted in a lot of Chinese forums, heart-breaking.

One anecdote story tells that a guy had to leave his dying mother to save a few buried screaming school children. And after saving a few he simply could not reach all the other kids hearing them screaming for help without any possibilities to save them untill there was only silence....It also doesn't help to know that 6-7 floors high schools collapsed to only the height of one person....

I have hope though, there are also a lot of stories about that a lot of school children are saved.

About the buildings, many of them seems to be very old buildings and never intended to be Earthquake resistant the structure might have been also extra weakened caused by the snowstorms a few months ago....One expert said that if the same earthquake had hit Hong Kong, then Hong Kong with all our skyscrapers would have been flatten.... We need to learn from the Japanese how to construct earth-quake resistant buildings in areas known for these risks...

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 06:27 PM
reply to post by IchiNiSan

Horrible dreams indeed Ichi. My thoughts and heart are with those children and everybody else in that area. I hope they are able to save the people still trapped before too much time passes.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 06:29 PM
reply to post by IchiNiSan

I'm so sorry to hear you are having bad nights. It breaks my heart to know of so much pain and desperation...I understand your feelings of helplesseness and know it only adds to ones distress.

Does China use the search dogs? I have seen them at work and they do make a difference in the time a person is found.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 06:35 PM
reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi

Google translation works pretty ok, and most of the context and general idea is well-translated.

Ever since this Earthquake hit us a lot of people were pointing fingers at the local officials. Granted that this at a known region for earthquake risks and even the abnormal animal behaviors and nature events prior to the earthquake it is still too difficult to predict exactly where and when and how strong an earthquake will hit. You have to understand that there are millions of people living there, it is a population densed province (like all the other ones). Also bare in mind that these areas are under-developed poor regions, unlike the "advanced highly developed" Chinese metropoles you probably most often see when talking about China. And when there are no tangible proof of a coming earthquake of this magnitude it is difficult to plan any evacuation plans. Japan is a good example, even there with all the advanced technology earthquakes stroke out of nothing. So the authorities is very often limited to crisis management, instead of prevention. I was glad to see swift actions, wthout this I sincerely believe more people were killed.

To make my point even more clear. Everyone is saying that LA is due for a heavy hit, but how many people is really aware of it? And what kind of prevention is taken in place to tackle this risk?

This said I do believe the authorities will be forced to look around their responsible regions very seriously after the cleanup. Prevention is a keyword. What kind of natural disaster is a risk to the area? What kind of methods and prevention we can do? What kind of warning systems we can create? First hitting my mind is that laws and regulations need to be implemented for controlling how to build new earth-quake resistant buildings, especially non commercial ones like schools and hospitals. Scientists should work on a warning system including animal/insects behaviors and so on. We should learn from experts in Japan and other areas.

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