Monday, May 12, 2008

Sichuan Quake

I'm currently in Canada but I'm told the quake was felt as far south as Guangzhou and as far east as Shanghai and Beijing. The center of the quake was near Chengdu, Sichuan (pretty much the geographic center of China). From Time magazine's China Blog here and here:

Remember that the Kobe earthquake in 1995 registered 7.2, and killed 5100 people. The urban infrastructure there, I'd wager, even in 1995, was vastly more "earthquake proof" than the buildings, highways etc. in Chengdu. US geological survey, according to its website, saying this was a 7.8 But the epicenter is about 90 to 100 kilometers northwest of Chengdu ...

The overall death toll, according to the Chinese government, is now at least 8600 and headed higher, possibly much higher. Remember that Chengdu, a provincial capital that not many foreigners have even heard of, has a population of 10.5 million. The population of New York, America’s largest city, is 8.2 million.

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