Am I the only one that didn’t feel it?

So, as everyone is now well aware, China was hit by a major (7.8) earthquake at 2:30 this afternoon. Current reports cite nearly 9,000 dead, and its effects were felt as far north as Beijing, in the south east in Taipei, and directly east of me in Shanghai.

I had no idea.

At the time I would have been out getting Addie’s rabies shot and RF chip and though I can’t be certain, I assume I was on the road walking back home when it hit, but I didn’t notice a thing.

Reports from Shanghai and Beijing indicate that buildings shook for upwards of 2 minutes. Surely I should have noticed buildings swaying. But despite being closer to the

Sichuan Quake - May 12, 2008Strange.

This makes the third large-scale earthquake to hit Western China this year (one in January in Tibet and another in Xinjiang in March), but is the first to hit a heavily populated area. With Sichuan being China’s most populated province, and that population almost entirely housed in multi-storey apartment buildings (that seem shaky on a good day), it sadly leaves little question that the already massive death-toll is sure to continue to rise.

It also can’t help but bring to mind Tangshan, a city directly hit by an earthquake in 1976, which killed more than a quarter million people. Coincidentally, the initial quake in Tangshan also measured 7.8 on the Richter scale. In that case, and I pray not in this one, the death and damage severely increased when an aftershock hit the area 15 hours later.

For some detailed coverage of reports on the quake – check out this continually updated Shanghaiist article.

Here’s some YouTube coverage of the Sichuan quake:

13 Responses

  1. Pingback: Earthquake hits Sichuan, please share your experiences | Lost Laowai China Blog

  2. I was in a conference in East Hangzhou and the only reason I even knew was an SMS from my office in West Hangzhou saying they’d evacuated because of an earthquake. A quick call home to my wife (thinking that at least in a 15th floor apartment she’d have felt it) and she just thought I was joking until she turned on the news. I can only guess that wavelengths and rock formations have a part in this localised experience…

  3. I was about 50km from the epicenter. My building cracked in a dozen different places. People in Chengdu were all out in the streets. Back home now but can’t sleep well what with the constant aftershocks and news about thousands upon thousands of casualties.

  4. Sitting in the study on the bottom floor of the apartment building – felt absolutely nothing. Mrs. Jamieson (up on the 7th floor of a nearby office building) said she felt a bit dizzy. A friend of hers up on the 29th floor in another building reported a bit of swaying, then had to hoof it down 58 flights of stairs – along with thousands of others. That WOULD be fun, nice and orderly here in China, as usual – my a*se. Mrs. J. told me about it at about 9pm last night. “Earthquake? What earthquake?”

    From Suzhou.

  5. According to my wife, this earthquake occurred on Buddha’s birthday (draw your own conclusions/conspiracy theories).

    You’re not the only one who didn’t feel anything… nothing here in Shenzhen.

  6. Pingback: Quake shocks Sichuan, makes Suzhou Ren thirsty | rice again

  7. I’m totally shocked. I feel so sad. It made the headlines here in New Zealand, I couldn’t believe it when I heard more than 10000 lives were lost. It broke my heart…

  8. Was at the service center getting my laptop repaired. Did not feel a thing. Later on cab driver told me there was an earthquake and the streets were flooded with people. I thought it might be something small and local; had no idea until I read Shanghaiist.

  9. Hi, my mom is in suzhou, teaching, and i have not been able to get ahold of her. i live in the US. It appears that there is not much damage in suzhou. is this true? were there any effects felt? any casualties?

  10. Hi Sarah, there was absolutely no damage (and certainly no casualties) here in Suzhou from the quake. Suzhou is about 1,600km away from the epicenter.

  11. I’m surprised at how China is handling the situation. I would have thought in the run-up to the Olympics China would be sweeping any and all disasters under the rug with complete media blackouts. But China is being quite open about the situation and what people can and have done to help.

  12. The news of earthquake in China was send to me by a friend’s SMS. About 2 hours later, radio start talking about it. In Toronto, Chinese Media have a large coverage about this earthquake in the evening news. Main Stream media have some mention about it.
    Charity donation for this earthquake start out almost instantly after the news break out.
    Charity [Red Cross and World Vision] anounced some programe to help out this earthquake, in the day after [I believe].

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