13 May 2008

Earthquake 12 May 2008

I didn't even know there was a mega earthquake until I start getting puzzling messages on MSN and sms asking if I am ok. They were telling me about a 7.8-scale earthquake which hits the South-Western part of China which is about a 2-hour flight away from me. These are the folks from Singapore to Las Vegas and the irony was that I, despite the closest in proximity, was the ignorant one.

At around the time when the quake started, I was on the road along the highway which probably explained that even if there were tremours, I still wouldn't have noticed it.

I didn't know magnitude of this disaster until this morning when I watched the reports on the news. 10,000 probably dead by now and it was especially heart-wrenching to hear of schools buried under mudslides. All the poor children inside!!

I can tell you that the damage could have been less, had the building quality of all the constructions not been so shoddy. It is a known fact here that the building quality standards are poor as a result of cutting corners to make the extra buck. So here we have 10,000 dead and I think majority are victims of building collapse. So at the expense of making the extra buck, we lose thousands of lives.

Such is the price of life in Spitland.

Fortunately, the 3-Gorges Dam was intact and unscathed despite the massive earthquake. I can't imagine the consequence of a broken dam. The amount of water released as a result of this broken dam (that caters to the world's largest hydroelectric power station) would easily triple the current death toll and possible displace as many as 20 million people from their homes.

If one were to look at the map, one would realise that the dam is still quite a distance from the quake epicenter and so one may ask where is the link? The answer is deeper (no pun intended) and you have to look further below for the answer (no pun intended again, dammit!). I think this was due to the fact that the dam is sitting on the same seismic fault as that of the quake.*

* subject to verification. 

So anyway, you see Premier Wen J1a Ba0 flying right away into the disaster area to oversee the rescue work. Man, you really got to love this guy with the heart of gold. In the past, we are so used to seeing Ch1nese leaders run the country with an iron fist. Cold and ruthless. Wen marks the dawn of a new era of a country now with a bigger, warmer and kinder heart.

President Hu J1n Ta0 has also decreed rescue efforts and quake relief as the nation's top priorities now. I cannot be helped by be impressed by the swift and efficient actions taken to dealing with disasters. The recent snow storm disaster, just before Ch1nese New Year, has earned my respect for the top Gahmen's effectiveness and now this further affirms my conviction.

So to those who still think Ch1na is some backwater country, I'd advise you to seriously think again.

Myanmar, now that's a different story. The bad weather at the time of the quake is probably the remnants of Typhoon Nargis as the cyclone was tailing off in the direction of quake area a week ago. Heavy rains were reported which probably contributed to the mudslides that buried anyone and anything in the way as well as seriously hampering swift rescue efforts where time is of critical essence.

Myanmar death toll has exceeded 30,000 lives already and this number would have been significantly smaller had the country taken precaution. It was reported that India's meteorological services have issued warnings to Myanmar, days before the typhoon hit Myanmar. The Gahmen despite warnings, failed to take any effective evacuation measures, resulting in the loss of more innocent lives.

Ok, so they screwed it up the first time, you would have thought that perhaps the Gahmen would have woken up their bladdy ideas by now? No...... now foreign rescue and relief workers are wrangling with the Gahmen to get a visa to enter the country.

What were they thinking? These folks are here to help and the Gahmen are pulling all the stops to make entry difficult? Stupid!

Anyway, thanks to all who have thought of me. Very kind of you. Thank you.

p.s. Fellow barfly tssd is in ChengDu at the time of the quake. He showed up on the CowBoyBar hours later to say that he is ok.

Image Credits:
- Voxeros

1. darkelfin left...
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 2:48 pm
you mean you're alrite?? damn.

2. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 3:18 pm :: 
darkelfin: Yes and I lurbe you too, larling....

3. Chocolate gal left...
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 5:44 pm
glad to know u are okie.. sighz.. one gd thing about singapore is no natural disasters but i dont know when the world is going to end if humans don't protect it..

4. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 8:10 pm :: 
Chocolate Gal: It will be sooner than we expect.

5. barffie left...
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 8:51 pm
Eh dude glad you are ok.

6. Gary left...
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:56 pm
lol, the moment you online this morning, i msn you liao. and you still blur blur.

7. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:33 pm :: 
Barffie: Thanks!!

8. rn left...
Wednesday, 14 May 2008 3:58 am ::
I think the reason for stopping them is that surely there will be political opportunists trying to go in and "stir" the peace that they tried so hard to keep... Just trying to think from their view.

9. aloe left...
Wednesday, 14 May 2008 11:41 am
the fact that u are online means u are more or less alright mah. :P But u are always in our thots!!! And yah, iTeared at the pic too. ARW!!! I tot got 3 barflies in Cheena? Cbc, urself and tssd??

10. THB left...
Thursday, 15 May 2008 10:21 am
Read the news liao sim tia.. :(

11. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 15 May 2008 12:48 pm :: 
RN: With people dead, still dying and going to die if aid is still not coming, what peace is there?

Aloe: Note to self: Bring telephone books when meeting aloe.

THB: Sad. Really sad. Wait till you see the report on how Myanmar junta is handling the foreign aid. You will be lagi xim tiah.

12. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 15 May 2008 10:57 pm :: 
Gary: Yah lor, I didn't know there was an earthquake lor...

13. Rachel left...
Friday, 16 May 2008 4:25 pm
Ya, my chilli crab and beer still waiting for you lor. You better come back in one piece to stuff face and ta with me.

14. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 17 May 2008 12:23 pm
Rachel: Sure but ta the chilli crab is going to be tricky.

15. Rachel left...
Sunday, 18 May 2008 11:32 pm ::
Ta the chilli crab sauce lah!!

16. JayWalk left...
Monday, 19 May 2008 7:31 am :: 
Rachel: Fwah.... you ish hardcore one..... mai lah.. wait next morning backside hiam hiam.

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