Thousands dead in Chinese quake

Paulc

On holiday by mistake
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7396400.stm

A powerful earthquake has killed at least 8,500 people in China's south-western Sichuan province, up to 5,000 of them in just one county.

Many more are feared killed and injured in other parts of the country after the 7.8-magnitude quake struck at 1428 local time (0628 GMT).

At least 50 bodies have been recovered from the rubble of a school where an estimated 900 students were buried.

President Hu Jintao has urged "all-out" efforts to rescue victims.

The epicentre of the earthquake was about 92km (57 miles) from Chengdu, Sichuan's provincial capital.

Because the earthquake struck in the middle of the day, it is feared that many schoolchildren may be among the victims.

One of the worst-hit areas appears to be Beichuan county, part of the Mianyang city municipal area, about 50km from the epicentre.


Some 80% of buildings there were reported to have been destroyed, leaving between 3,000 and 5,000 people dead and up to 10,000 injured.

Meanwhile hundreds of people were reported to have been buried in two collapsed chemical plants in Shifang in Sichuan, and at least five other schools were reported to have collapsed.

The death toll could turn out to be much higher once the damage in Wenchuan county - the epicentre - is assessed, says BBC China analyst Shirong Chen.

The area is very rugged, full of mountains and valleys and a number of roads are connected with bridges from one mountain top to the next, he says.

Nine hours after the quake, Xinhua reported, a rescue team had still not been able to get to Wenchuan.

"We are doing everything we can, but the roads are blanketed with rocks and boulders," said top Sichuan official Li Chongxi.

There were fears that China's programme to save the endangered giant panda may have been affected.

Wenchuan county is home to the Wolong Nature Reserve, the country's leading research and breeding base for pandas - but the centre could not be reached by phone. We were in quite a narrow street where everything just started shaking... people were panicking... It was mayhem

Casper Oppenhuisdejong
BBC reader in Chengdu


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who flew to Chengdu immediately, said China needed "calm, confidence, courage and strong leadership".

"We will definitely overcome this major disaster," he promised.

US President George W Bush expressed condolences to victims' families, while Japan offered to send aid.

The Chinese Red Cross has sent hundreds of tents and thousands of blankets to the afflicted area.


There were harrowing reports from the scene of a school collapse in Dujiangyan city - just south-east of the epicentre - where 900 students were buried and 50 dead.


Teenagers buried beneath the rubble of the three-storey Juyuan Middle School building were struggling to break free, while others were crying out for help, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Parents were watching as cranes excavated the site. Villagers rushed to help with the rescue.

Two girls said they escaped because they had "run faster than others".

Dozens of aftershocks have been reported since the quake, which was felt in Beijing, 1,545km (960 miles) away, and the Thai capital Bangkok, 1,800km (1,200 miles) away.

It was the strongest to hit Sichuan province in more than 30 years, Xinhua said.

The province is the most populated part of China - home to 87 million people.

The provincial capital Chengdu, which has a population of more than 10 million people, was comparatively lightly damaged - though Xinhua cited an official with the local seismological bureau saying 45 people were killed there.
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
Killer earthquakes, cyclones, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires...it's almost enough to make you believe we're living in the End Times.
 

Kewpie

Member
Moderator
Subscriber
Very tragic indeed.
Accoridng to Yahoo jp more than 900 students/pupils are buried in rubble.
Hope they manage to rescue as many people as possible.
 

westendgirl

Active Member
Killer earthquakes, cyclones, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires...it's almost enough to make you believe we're living in the End Times.

So, what's lacking that brings the 'almost enough' rather than 'enough or more than enough' evidence to make you believe that it is?
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
You feel God's lacking...as in non-existent...or...?

The degree and frequency of these disasters are enough to make non-believers question their non-belief. An oblique comment on the terrifying nature of these tragedies, not a pretext to spout atheism.
 

Hellie

Lost
These disasters always happen to the most poor and disadvantaged peoples.I'm glad i have no religion because it would be sorely tested.
 

HIM

New Member
it's just lucky the olympics haven't started yet
 

SNS22

Not Dead Yet
God, for starters. :)

Attitudes like that, are probably what make God chose not to get involved in the chaos this world inflicts upon us.
 

SNS22

Not Dead Yet
Here's hoping God digs emoticons.

It just annoys me that people (not you) always come out after tragedies and disasters and state that "If there was a God he wouldn't let things happen like that". Like God owes us anything? If anything, I think we as human beings owe a higher deity. After all, a being of such omnipotence would deserve our respect, in the very least.
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
It just annoys me that people (not you) always come out after tragedies and disasters and state that "If there was a God he wouldn't let things happen like that". Like God owes us anything? If anything, I think we as human beings owe a higher deity. After all, a being of such omnipotence would deserve our respect, in the very least.

"Owe" doesn't enter into it. If God exists He is an unfathomable mystery and everything that unfolds, tragic or not, is part of His plan. I don't understand those "wouldn't let things happen..." complaints either.

Anyway I didn't intend to get all Biblical about it. I should've said "Tragic" and shut my mouth. What can I say? It was slow this morning.
 

Hellie

Lost
It just annoys me that people (not you) always come out after tragedies and disasters and state that "If there was a God he wouldn't let things happen like that". Like God owes us anything? If anything, I think we as human beings owe a higher deity. After all, a being of such omnipotence would deserve our respect, in the very least.


True if it was true which it isn't.

The universe is our creator.God is a human need.But also a human invention.
 

SNS22

Not Dead Yet
True if it was true which it isn't.

The universe is our creator.God is a human need.But also a human invention.

Okay, nice philosophy. Too bad it isn't true.
 

Hellie

Lost
Okay, nice philosophy. Too bad it isn't true.

But in these subjects - religion, there is no right or wrong or any answers...just opinions.This is true with everything that isn't solid scientific fact.
 

CharlieFairhead

Loweringthetonesince1974
These disasters always happen to the most poor and disadvantaged peoples.I'm glad i have no religion because it would be sorely tested.

I agree, natural disasters generally never wipe out any of these repressive regimes these people live under.
China for all their faults will at least try save as many lives as possible, however if you live in Burma they really couldn't give a f*ck about their own people...just building more palaces for their sinister military rulers.

*siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh*
 

Sir Alec

Anorak
Okay, nice philosophy. Too bad it isn't true.

How do you know?

EDIT: Oh wait, you don't. Nobody does. Not the atheists . Not the believers. Not the scientists. Not you. Not me. Not anyone.
 

SNS22

Not Dead Yet
How do you know?

EDIT: Oh wait, you don't. Nobody does. Not the atheists . Not the believers. Not the scientists. Not you. Not me. Not anyone.

No, I don't know. Nor does anyone know whether or not God exists. It's just me being equally arrogant to the resident atheists.
 
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