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April 14, 2010 in The China Beat


Copyright April 14, 2010. Used by permission.


Quite a bit is being written today about Wednesday’s earthquake in Qinghai, and we expect many more stories in the coming days. Here, a survey of what we’ve found online so far:

1. The Guardian has put together an interactive map of the quake region, as well as a powerful photo series.

2. Danwei has translated a commentary by Wang Jian of China National Radio, which focuses on the difficulties of relief and rescue efforts:

At this time, we do not have enough tents to shield the victims from the cold, and we do not have enough blankets to warm them. This is a critical part of the relief effort. Just now I saw that the Ministry of Civil Affairs has sent 5,000 tents, and the Civil Affairs Department of the Qinghai government has sent another 5,000. There are also 50,000 cotton overcoats and 50,000 cotton blankets on the way. But this is far from enough, and the rescue agencies must work even faster. . . .

Additionally, we are also worried about the injured. One characteristic of the Yushu earthquake is that it took place in a region where most of the houses are structures of earth and wood, whose earthquake resistance is relatively poor. Once an earthquake strikes, they are liable to collapse. But the death toll is usually less than when cement buildings collapse; the number of injured will be larger. So at present, the disaster region must arrange for hospitals and emergency rescue units to rescue the injured and work to treat them.

3. In this “Letter from China” at the New Yorker, Evan Osnos outlines some of the early reports about the earthquake and its coverage in the press.

4. Spanish-speakers, see “Terremoto en Qinghai” at ZaiChina for updates about the earthquake (a serviceable English translation can also be obtained by using the Google Translate button on the webpage).