It’s difficult to find anyone in Chengdu, a laidback city in central China known for its pandas and spicy food, who doesn’t know where they were at 2:28 p.m. on May 12, 2008.

That’s when a massive earthquake, one of the worst ever in China, left 87,000 people dead, 370,000 injured, and five million people homeless in the Sichuan Province around Chengdu.

DaTech3.jpg

The earthquake happened during the school day. Substandard construction of the buildings resulted in thousands of children dying in what become known as “tofu schools” because they were so unstable and toppled during the earthquake.

The mountains around Sichuan rise more than three miles above the neighboring plains and about 40 miles from Chengdu. They form a wrinkle in the earth’s crust caused by the Indian and Eurasian plates pushing against each other. They’re the same forces that formed the Himalayas.

The towns most affected by 2008’s magnitude-8 earthquake—such as Beichuan, Wenchuan, and Mianzhu—were built near the Longmenshan Fault, a tear in the earth’s crust and a hotspot for quakes. The 2008 event shook buildings nearby for nearly two minutes and was felt 800 miles away in Beijing.

The disaster happened just as China was ready to host the Summer Olympics, a sort of coming-out party for the country.

Over the past decade, China worked to rebuild the homes and lives of those affected. Shiny new roads and sturdy buildings replaced the rubble. Displaced families found new homes. Bereaved parents gave birth to thousands of so-called “replacement children.” Earthquake warning systems were put in place throughout the country.

A nationwide initiative was launched to ensure safe primary and middle schools, injecting about $60 billion toward the goal of making schools safe.

Nevertheless, critics say the Chinese government, which they believe should be held accountable for the inferior buildings, have rejected fair compensation for those affected by the tragedy.

The misuse of money also created a huge credibility problem for the government. At one point, a Chinese celebrity’s photos flaunting her lavish lifestyle on social media became the catalyst for exposing the Red Cross Society’s mismanagement of the Sichuan relief funds.

The woman claimed to be working for a Red Cross subsidiary even as she regularly shared pictures of herself posing with luxury cars at upscale resorts and restaurants. After angry online readers dug into her personal life, it emerged that her boyfriend was a shareholder of an investment-holding group affiliated with the Red Cross.

Ultimately, a variety of people were convicted of embezzling funds. As a result of this scandal and others, Chinese remain reluctant to donate funds to charities.

Ten years later, the memories of what happened still loom large. A government desire to declare “thanksgiving” for what happened after the earthquake created a stir on the internet. Many wanted the victims to be remembered rather than what the government did after the earthquake. See DaTimes at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/10/world/asia/china-sichuan-earthquake-thanksgiving.html

For better and worse, the earthquake changed the region and the country and continues to do so even today.

Any person who fought against them or is the son of a person who fought against them can tell you that so don’t think for a minute that a nation that could bounce back from the destruction of world war 2 aren’t certainly going to bounce back from this. Anyone predicting otherwise just doesn’t know the Japanese people.

I’m relieved to hear my friend Yushin and his family are safe but there are a lot of people who are going to need a lot of aid. Rather than re-inventing the wheel I suggest Catholic Relief services per the Anchoress or the Red Cross per Stacy. Be aware that many really nasty people are going to shortly be putting up scam sites and sending out scam e-mails to take your money pretending to be helping. Don’t fall for it. Just give to the mainline groups that I mentioned and you will be fine.

I also think Stacy’s other advice concerning the story is first rate:

My advice: Get some sleep. And when you wake up Sunday morning, go to Denny’s and have their Grand Slam breakfast while reading the local newspaper. Then go back home and drink a couple brews while watching a basketball game on TV. At that point, you can then safely log back onto the Internet and try to figure out what actually happened Saturday.

I would suggest the 5th street Diner in Fitchburg instead of Denny’s. For the beer try either the Nashoba Club Restaurant In Ayer, The Border Grille and Bar in Leominster, Linguini’s Italian eatery in Marlborough or Central Plaza Pizza in Townsend but other than that hes’ right.

I’m not even going to try to cover this event. The info is constantly changing and we simply don’t know what is going on in detail nor shall we. I say let the people who know what their doing do it, give what help we can and stay out of the way otherwise. The best help we can give is donation and letting our carries groups that can generate tons of drinking water from salt water go to work.

As for those trying to use this for political gain, or to push agendas. I have no use for them. This quake has as much connection to Global Warming as it does to the end time. Namely none.

Update: The Media superstars don’t take Stacy’s advice and Miss Attila notices that Stacy has an affinity for hits, the shock is just too much for me.

Living in New England when we get a couple of feet of snow it’s a pain in the neck but no big deal. However if you mention that to someone from the south or the southwest it blows their minds that it doesn’t bother us.

Reading this post by Little Miss Attila, the same thought in reverse comes to mind when it comes to quakes it all comes down to what you are used to.

And this one, today? I was in the kitchen, puttering around and getting Easter dinner together, when I heard a noise and went off to investigate. It sounded like something in the laundry nook or the pantry, and I didn’t relish the notion that rodents had made their way into either space. But I couldn’t see anything wrong in either area, and merely filed it away as one more thing to check into this week: an additional burden. Because there was clearly a problem with the pipes, or in the laundry room, or in the back of the pantry—and I didn’t want to have to pull everything out and find out what it was. So I went grimly out into the living room, where my mother and my husband were discussing “magnitude.”

“An earthquake?” I asked. “Thank God.”

“You must have been walking,” my mother remarked. “That’s why you didn’t feel it.”

“Yeah, I was,” I replied. “But you’ve made me very happy.”

I’m sorry but when I hear earthquake, my first thought is destruction and death, but it sounds to me like I have to start to adjust my perspective.

Glad to hear they are ok anyway.