Saturday, May 17, 2008

China Quake

Mother earth let humankind us know who's boss in the last week or two. The death toll from the cyclone which ravaged Burma, aided by its criminal and inept military government, is approaching 78,000 by the latest count. As if a cyclone wasn't enough, the most severe earthquake in 58 years hit China approximately a week later.

I can relate to the unnatural feeling of the ground moving. I still remember my first earthquake, my bed walked itself across the floor and things fell down. Since then I've experienced a few others, none were of the magnitude of the earthquake in the Sichuan region of China this week. A Richter scale magnitude 7.9 earthquake is severe. For example, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (San Francisco World Series earthquake) had a magnitude of 6.9, as did the Sylmar earthquake of 1971. By comparison, last weeks earthquake in China was 20 times as strong. The death toll from the China earthquake is approaching 30,000 with the Chinese still working frantically to find buried survivors.

All of this makes the recent art auctions seem trivial and as I was Googling the news this morning over coffee, I came across a Chinese site with some remarkable pictures from the earthquake region in China. I do not read Chinese, so although I have included the captions, I have no idea what they say. Each caption is linked to the source page on the Shifang.gov.cn website.

These are touching photographs, presented without further comment.

红白中学的抢救现场仍在继续


图片/刘强


地震后的红白街道一片废墟(图片/什邡武装部)


四川什邡市蓥华镇倒塌的一处厂房,一名女子大声喊着被困亲人的名字,另一名男子则竖着耳朵听有没有回音。据当地救援队员介绍,这里有千余名工人被埋


四川什邡市蓥华镇倒塌的一处厂房,据当地救援队员介绍,这里有千余名工人被埋


为遇难者送行(图片/廖文飞)


惨状(图片/廖文飞)


醒醒吧!孩子!(图片/廖文飞)


图片/新华社 李刚


图片/谭存华


图片/刘强


抢救(图片/廖文飞)


手术现场(图片/廖文飞)


救治(图片/廖文飞)


图片/新华社 李刚


我的学校,我的老师、同学,我想你们
图片/冯彦

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