Aftershocks

And rain.

[15.08.14. Somewhere will be my original blog entry relating to the Sichuan quake of 2008. As I predicted at the time, the event became a verboten topic, especially after the deaths of so many school children turned out to have been a consequence of shoddy construction standards. Whether this had a positive effective on the quality of build­ings in the earthquake zone, I can’t say, but it’s hard not to suspect that complaints were censored to protect the guilty.

I overlooked the first anniversary of the quake because there wasn’t one. The only people who remember the dead will be the survivors, and they probably do so with a certain amount of circumspection.]

We had a couple more brief tremors last night, one at about 1.30am and another at 4.15am. On the occasion of the second, someone started mak­ing an announcement on a PA system. Seemed to be coming from school, which made me conclude that people might’ve spent the night in the grounds because they didn’t want to return home. I did sleep last night, but cat-like with one eye half open.

As the press reports are now saying, it’s started raining here, which won’t help rescue attempts in areas which have been badly affected by the quake.

I notice in Thousands die in China quake the following paragraph:

Mobile telecommunication converters had jammed and thousands of servers were out of service, according to Sha Yuejia, deputy chief executive officer of China Mobile. But one Israeli student, Ronen Medzini, sent a text message to the Associated Press reporting: “Traffic jams, no running water, power out, everyone sitting in the streets, patients evacuated from hospitals sitting outside and waiting.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t say exactly where Medzini is in Chengdu, al­though that’s not to say that power and water weren’t cut off in some parts of the city. We had power and running water in this part of Chengdu with­out any interruptions. There was a long line of cars heading north on 东城根南街 at about 6pm yesterday evening, but it was all pretty orderly – by Chinese standards.

Although there was only superficial damage to buildings in Chengdu (as far as I’m currently aware), I note that the metal door to my annexe is now shutting cleanly. Now that I look more closely in the annexe itself, I see that a tiny amount of plaster has come down from the ceiling above the door and there’s a slight crack in the ceiling, visible where the plaster has flaked away. The crack in the plaster above the table seems a little worse and I notice a crack in line with the frame of the door to the laundry. On the back wall behind the drier I’m certain there’s another crank in the plaster that wasn’t there before and one in the ceiling. There are quite a few small cracks in the plaster when you start looking for them.

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4 thoughts on “Aftershocks”

  1. What an awful night of sleep.  People where I live were outside in the courtyard to, some still are.  I’m on the fifth floor which is high enough to really feel the tremors.  The Isreali student is quoted in lots of reports.  It’s odd that no media is reporting the fact that the majority of the 11million people in Chengdu are actually perfectly safe, with no problems with electricity or running water.But yeah, no more aftershocks, please.

  2. Our classrooms are on the fifth floor of the building, and being aware of a story from my first year in China about stairs collapsing (though not because of an earthquake), I felt a certain amount of trepidation about taking them. But it was either that or nothing.
     
    A few people in Chengdu are likely to have been injured by falling debris, but as I was wandering around this morning, I saw almost no obvious damage.

  3. kmm, somehow those media types don’t like writing things like "10 million in Chengdu perfectly safe; 1 million inconvenienced by localised disruptions to power, water and telecoms, a few unlucky sods suffer cuts and bruises from falling plaster and tiles."

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