Andrea Hsu

Caught in the Earthquake

Melissa and I had just sat down for an interview with a Christian pastor when we heard and felt a rumble. I remember looking up at the ceiling and seeing it shaking. We ran out onto the street where students from the theological seminary and other local residents had run out, many looking panicked. The ground beneath our feet continued to move for maybe two to three minutes, and pieces of brick and cement fell off the buildings; the cross on the church was swaying. People seemed stunned. One man was completely naked. We walked a couple miles to the stadium to meet up with Robert and Art and Xiaoyu and passed crowds all along the way who stood in the middle of intersections.

We are heading out to areas we hear were much harder hit. All along the roads, in medians, are people camped out.

Comments

 

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When you say "areas we hear were much harder hit" do you mean in Chengdu, or are you going to Wenchuan? I was in the consulate when it hit. I kind of felt like that should be one of the better constructed buildings in Chengdu.

Sent by Michael Webster | 10:12 AM | 5-12-2008

Thank god you're all fine. I was quite worried about you because a earthquake of similar magnitude (known as "the Great Earthquake of Tangshan city") back in the 1970s kills more than 240,000 people, and that data was from China's official news agency.

Empirical evidence tells us that aftershocks can also be devastating, so please watch out and be careful while collecting stories.

Sent by Wecan Wong | 10:29 AM | 5-12-2008

I am adopting a little girl waiting for me in Chengdu and was devastated to learn of the quake in this morning's news. Any news of events there will be gratefully received. I believe my new daughter is living with a foster family there and I expect that I will not hear any official news for some time. Our thoughts and good wishes are with all those there effected by this terrible earthquake and my hopes are sent especially to my little daughter; please be safe.

Sent by Kim Kelley-Wagner | 10:39 AM | 5-12-2008

Our 23 year old daughter, Meg, is living/working with Ecologia/Oxford World Leadership Corps in Chengdu. We were awakened this morning by a call from a dear friend telling of the NPR report of the earthquake. We rushed to our email and found this word from our daughter:

Hi everybody,

I'm going to write this fast, as my plan right now is to get in and out of my house as fast as possible. Chengdu just had an earthquake, everything seems generally ok, and I'm fine as are all of my friends as far as I know. We're sort of shaken up, and awaiting the next few aftershocks, so I'll be spending the evening in the "panic party" outside with a blanket, some cards, and some friends - and farther from the buildings that might shake. I was in a bank when everything happened - crumbling building, running down a spiral staircase, avoiding falling concrete, etc. Will write more later when everything calms down.

Love,
Meg

--

Thank YOU tremendously for your reporting. We hold you and all those in the region in spirit (from Colorado Springs) as you respond/report. We wish you safety---as we hold the vision of the Chinese community responding to this crisis with compassion and care.

Warmly, Lynn Young, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Sent by Lynn Young | 10:40 AM | 5-12-2008

I very much appreciate any information you have from Chengdu. I was at the airport in Xian waiting to board a flight to Chengdu when the flights were all canceled. I am in China for two reasons. The first and most important was to visit the foster family who cared for my son for 2.5 years prior to my adopting him. We were supposed to meet tomorrow morning. Now we are in a hotel in Xian waiting to hear news. It is a terrible tragedy, so much loss.

Sent by Ellen Margolese | 10:55 AM | 5-12-2008

The last time I saw so many people pouring out of a Chengdu building the restaurant's kitchen was ablaze. But then I figured all the kitchens on the street could not have caught fire at once. And that would not explain why every motion sensing car, motorbike and bicycle alarm within earshot was suddenly beeping, shrieking and warbling. Chinese vehicle alarms are more annoying than intimidating. There is a mynah bird on the fifth floor of one of our buildings that does a terrific imitation.

People kept flooding into the streets. Car and truck drivers kept speeding into through and around the crowds, blowing their horns to insist those seeking safety get out of their way.

Chengdu is a boom town and lots of construction is going on, so my second thought was one of the high rise buildings being erected nearby was collapsing. A small, unsupported, just erected brick wall with the mortar still wet, did. Then I remembered the crane that toppled in New York City recently and checked the one overhead - which was swaying. I have a bad cold and my balance is a little off - which is why the last stimulus to arrive was the rolling of the sidewalk.

Then I realized it was an earthquake - my first.

Most of the schools were evacuated; classes were canceled at mine for the rest of the day and for tomorrow while the buildings are inspected. Around 200 of the boarding students will be spending the night on the soccer field.

Many of our neighbors are sleeping outside - it is like a giant party with extended families sitting around communal radios and flashlights. Occasionally someone will leave one group and walk over to another. I am reminded of those hot Summer nights on my Grandmother's Georgia front porch when, if you sat and rocked long enough, everyone you knew, or was worth knowing, would drop in for a glass of tea and a visit.

Cell service is out is very spotty. China Mobile says 2300 cell towers are down across the region. Gas, water and electricity are on. Wired phones and internet are iffy.

All this being said, the magnitude of that which has befallen my adopted and dearly loved home is just beginning to emerge. For now we are anxiously awaiting messages from friends in Xichang, Kunming, Nan Chong and a few here in Chengdu.

The Buddhist goddess of mercy, Guanyin, will be busy tonight.

Sent by Tom Hill, Chengdu | 10:59 AM | 5-12-2008

I heard the news this morning around 7:20 am from NPR on my way to work and called my parents in Chengdu right away. They were fine and told me they may want to head somewhere safer to spend the night. Hope you guys are all OK there. Take care!

Sent by yang | 11:01 AM | 5-12-2008

Andrea,

If you find NGOs in need, please let us know at Crossroads (www.china-crossroads.com). I will be posting NGOs who are in need.

Thanks
Rich
www.china-crossroads.com

Sent by Crossroads | 11:23 AM | 5-12-2008

I heard the news from NPR this morning. 4 years of my best times were spent in Chengdu, where I went for college. My classmates, who mostly work and live in Chengdu, told me things are fine there. Best luck to the people out there hit by the earthquake and all the NPR crews in the area - take care and keep up the excellent journalism!

Sent by Ken Zheng | 11:26 AM | 5-12-2008

We send our condolences to the earthquake victims. Hopefully government will act quickly and provide them sufficient help.

Thank you very much for your timely report. We are also glad that everyone in your group is safe and well.

Sent by Jian & Song | 11:44 AM | 5-12-2008

feel so so sad, even though all my family and friends are safe. But it took more than 7,800 people's life as we know now, even more may be buried. Wish the death toll stop climbing. God bless my fellow Sichuan people.

Sent by C. Liang | 11:49 AM | 5-12-2008

So glad to heart that my good friend Xiaoyu is doing fine.

Thanks for the update,
John Violette

Sent by John Violette | 12:39 PM | 5-12-2008

Bless all people in China.

Sent by Anton | 12:53 PM | 5-12-2008

The violent shaking lasted several minutes, I think. I'm an English teacher in Chengdu (Sichuan Province). I was at home in my apt. on the 19h floor (in a building that has 20 storeys).

My friend Ruby had just arrived -- just in time for us to experience a major earthquake together. Just a few seconds after she arrived, she said "What's that?"

I've heard all kinds of construction noises around my apt., so even though I did hear a rumble, I first thought it was just a new kind of construction noise. Before I could finish a sentence, however, the violent shaking became overwhelmingly evident.

I dove to grab a beautiful vase (full of fresh Mother's Day flowers) that had belonged to my mother. It was on top of my water machine which tumbled over soon after (even though the jug on top held several gallons of water). Then Ruby and I talked to our Father throughout the violent shaking.

When the shaking stopped, I mopped up the water that had spilled out of my huge jug and then turned on my computer--which had fallen to the floor--and was delighted to see that it still worked and that I could get on Internet.

I sent an e-mail to all 3 of my children. I said "I don't know if it's safe to use the elevator, and I don't know if I'm better off outdoors or indoors. Please advise ASAP." I figured they had better access to Earthquake 101 info than I did. Then I realized that 3 pm here is 2 am there and they would more than likely catch Z's for a few more hours.

When I opened my refrigerator, things started falling out. It was a jumbled up mess in there, but I caught the milk on its way out.

Then I rode my bicycle to work, but they weren't letting anyone into the building. In fact the whole city was outdoors on police orders because it was rumored that there would be a second earthquake. I didn't know if they meant "second earthquake" or "another aftershock."

It's difficult to describe what it's like in a large city when everyone is outdoors. All the traffic lanes were full -- almost everybody was going somewhere to check on somebody. The sidewalks were full of pedestrians.

The bicycle lanes were full of bicycles, pedestrians, and others just standing there bewildered. I know how they felt. I don't recall ever hearing "what to do when an earthquake hits" and I didn't know what to do, either. The first hour, I would say, people exhibited restrained panic. At that time, I could tell my heart was still beating too fast. The second hour, I would say, people were somewhat sullen (and still scared).

Sent by Mary Meyer | 1:53 PM | 5-12-2008

My Mother is on a tour of China and is currently in Beijing. As you can imagine, I was shocked to hear of the earthquake on NPR this morning on my way to work. Luckily, I had the telephone number for Mom's hotel in Beijing. I called (it was about 10:30 pm there) just to be certain she was OK and unharmed. Needless to say, I woke her, but she didn't mind! I was relieved to hear her voice and know that she was not harmed. Thankfully, she said they didn't feel anything where she was in Beijing. I certainly hope the reminder of my Mom's tour is uneventful, as far as any other disasters. I've contacted family members and assured everyone that Mom is alive and well, though a little sleepy.

I'm praying for those in the areas affected by the quake and for my Mom's safe return!

Thank you, NPR, for your coverage - please stay safe!

Sent by Stacey Copenhaver | 1:57 PM | 5-12-2008

My heartfelt prayers and well wishes goes out to the families and individuals of Sichuan!

May God Bless

Sent by K McCoy | 2:02 PM | 5-12-2008

Our sincere condolences to the people of China. My brother Jerry Rodrigues just arrived in China from the States to be with his soon to be new Wife and daughter in Nanjing, China. Is that anywhere near where the earthquake hit? His Mother and sister and family are very anxious to find out. If anyone can help us find out please let us know. Thanks and our prayers are with the Chinese people.

Sent by JoAnn McKinny | 2:13 PM | 5-12-2008

Anyone know whether there was any significant damage to Leshan ?

Sent by Arnold Politzer | 2:24 PM | 5-12-2008

My wife lives in Chongqing, and when I first got the news of an earthquake, I had the "ready to cry" feelings, scared
to my bones. Well she and all her family are OK and I am relieved, but I still feel like crying for all the wonderful people in China affected by this tragedy. I am 60 yr old American man
and I wish I could be there to help.

Sent by leslie Swank | 2:36 PM | 5-12-2008

I am a Chinese girl pursuing education now in US.

Sad and shocked to know the disaster happened in Sichuan Province.

To answer JoAnn McKinny's question, Nanjing is a little upwards Shanghai, it's far from Sichuan Province, there should not be any damage, so please don't worry about it.

And Leshan is actually quite near the central of earthquake, there could be certain damages. Hope you can get in touch with your friends soon.

Sent by Jiuyun | 2:53 PM | 5-12-2008

i felt so sorry and send my condolence to the victims affected, despite my building in Beijing felt the vibration of the quake. but i thank God that we never become the victim of such calamity. i felt sorry for the people living in China and her citizens.

Sent by Ayodeji Micheal | 2:53 PM | 5-12-2008

Please God bless people of China. Although I don't have any direct friends and family members in quake area, my heart still feel deeply hurt when I heard this terrible news. Hope all people in the area are safer..

Sent by huijun | 2:58 PM | 5-12-2008

JoAnn McKinny, Nanjing is quite far from the epicenter so don't worry, your brother Jerry should be ok.

Sent by Wang | 3:01 PM | 5-12-2008

If anyone has any information of damages in Xian, China, I would be grateful as my wife is there visiting her sister. I have heard nor seen info or reports about this adjacent city.

Sent by Eddie Smith | 3:01 PM | 5-12-2008

Thanks Melissa for this morning's news from the stadium. Take care yourself during collecting stories for NPR listeners.
Sincere condolence to the victims of earthquake in China. God bless their souls.

Sent by Udayan Bhadra, Charlotte, NC, USA. | 3:14 PM | 5-12-2008

Our son was trekking the Ice Mountain near Chengdu. He left last Friday for four days and we cannot contact him. Anyone know how this area is?

Sent by Susan Rushton | 3:18 PM | 5-12-2008

To joAnn And Arnold,

People in Nanjing felt the quake but not affected. Nanjing is far enough from Chengdu. Leshan is in Sichuan province, where the earthquake hit. But not the epicenter.

My bless to all the people affected.

Sent by Liu Yu | 3:20 PM | 5-12-2008

I turned on the radio as my morning routine to listen to NPR and that's when I heard Anthony Kuhn reporting about the earthquake at 7 a.m. After that I also heard Melissa Block's reporting. I was able to talk to my sister and two other friends after. It was such a relief to be able to talk to family and friends. Many friends have called and e-mailed to ask about my family and ask if they can help with anything. I'm glad that we can donate to the Red Cross, but it looks like their website is down now -- maybe too much traffic?

I'm also glad everyone from the NPR team is okay. I hope they have a wonderful time there at my beloved home city. Thanks for bringing news from Chengdu.

Sent by Xixuan | 3:38 PM | 5-12-2008

Mr Smith, Xian is quite far from the epicenter, most likely your wife is fine.

Sent by Tong | 3:56 PM | 5-12-2008

We are all ok and everyone we knows seems to be ok so far, but there is a clearing of buildings throughout the city... we've moved all of our valuables into the front of our house and will most likely sleep outside as our house/practice room is cracked through almost completely...

Apparently the earthquake struck at 2:28pm 50-60 miles from Chengdu and the effects were felt as far as Vietnam and Beijing. The whole house twisted and the ground morphed before our eyes. We are doing what we can to make sure everyone is ok as many friends and family live in far more dangerous areas of the city.

Some people are celebrating the catastrophe as reason to gather in the open air and "party" while others are either dazed and wondering when their TVs will work again or checking up on their friends to make sure everything is really ok...

More news later...
www.myspace.com/pbutterfly

we've been waiting in anticipation for the second rumble , but things seem calm...
chengdu,china

Sent by Joshua C. Love | 4:01 PM | 5-12-2008

Heard from a friend in Mianyang City. Power is back on there, and everything seems to be well organized and orderly. Many aftershocks.

Sent by Ila Korp | 4:05 PM | 5-12-2008

I was privileged to travel to China in 2003 and again in 2004. Once you have visited this beautiful country, with it's beautiful people, your heart will remain forever. They are a strong people; full of dignity and determination. I am holding my breath hoping for limited destruction and loss of life.

Sent by Camille Janovak | 4:06 PM | 5-12-2008

My condolence to the people of China. I just returned from China a week ago and I was in the Chinese embassy today to renew my visa for another trip.

It was there that my girl friend mother called me to tell me the worse news. Meanwhile, upon hearing this news, I quickly made a phone called to my girlfriend who is currently studying in Tondji university in Shanghai only to be told that she is safe and basically, she did even had any news on the earth until I informed her. Thank God everything is ok with her.

Sent by Everstone Adams | 4:14 PM | 5-12-2008

To the good people of china.....

God bless and be strong. The world is watching over you and your loved ones.

Sent by Joan Roelke | 4:18 PM | 5-12-2008

I'm very sorry for those who are heavily affected by this terrible quake; I'm praying for all of you that God will bless you and will help those in need. God bless China..

Sent by Mcsan Saleloui | 4:49 PM | 5-12-2008

Thanks NPR/ATC for actually reporting this breaking news. The story of Melissa Block conducting the interview as the quake happened added an layer of personal touch that truly moved me. I was flipping channels on TV and NONE of cable news networks were covering it. I turned off my TV before pundits like Lou Dobb or Jack Cafferty might start saying how the goons in communist China deserved this.

Sent by Realist | 4:50 PM | 5-12-2008

Looking for grandson Dustin that works for the Maxxelli Real Estate company in Chungdu. i don't have address of business. His office is also known as Red Tulip Group. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Thanks. G/ma Judy in Michigan

Sent by Judy Rae | 4:52 PM | 5-12-2008

To Judy Rae: Please check with Consolate General of American in Chengdu. Here's their contact info: Address: No. 4 Ling Shi Guan Road
Phone: (28) 8558-3992
Fax: (28) 8554-6229
Emergency: 1370-800-1422
Email: ConsularChengdu@state.gov

Walk-in Office hours:
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 1:30-4:00 PM
Friday 9:00-12:00 AM, 1:30-4:00 PM

We are closed for routine US Citizen Services on Wednesdays.

Emergencies
The ACS Unit provides emergency assistance to American citizens in distress: when an American is destitute, arrested, separated from minor children, or sick. In an emergency, the Consulate Duty Officer can be reached at any time by calling 1370-800-1422.

You need to dial 01186 before you dial those numbers

Bless your grandson and Chinese people there.

Sent by Beverly Peng | 5:29 PM | 5-12-2008

I know of a China Moon Bear rehab sanctuary in Chengdu, by Animals Asia Foundation. Does anyone happen to know how this amazing and terribly important sanctuary held up, and all its staff and lovely bears?
God be with all the people and animals in Chengdu and all the surrounding areas...

Sent by Ginger Duval | 6:31 PM | 5-12-2008

Have friends there. they are american workers from macau. They were visiting the area. I'm sure there's no access but we're looking for Topher O'rourke, Max Baker, And two others. Praying for them

Sent by David McDuffie | 7:11 PM | 5-12-2008

The epicenter was in Wenchuan County. (Chinese: ?????????; Pinyin: W??nchu??n Xi??n)
It is a county in Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China.

Wenchuan County has 34% Qiang, 18.6% Tibetan and 46% Han Chinese. Total population is more than 100,000.

It also has the Wolong National Nature Reserve, a protected area houses more than 150 highly endangered giant pandas.

Let's pray for all the people there.

Sent by Jack | 7:18 PM | 5-12-2008

Leshan is about 500 miles away from the central of earthquake

Sent by steven | 7:49 PM | 5-12-2008

All the prayer for my chinese friends within the e.quake perimeter. God bless you all.

Sent by dadeu - indonesia | 9:17 PM | 5-12-2008

My grandmother and aunts live in Leshan. They are okay thank god/Buddha/Allah but are expectedly frazzled by the quakes. Their apartment building was shaking and spent the day and night elsewhere and just now went back home. Thank you for your reports Melissa and everyone for their compassion and concern.

Sent by Yashu | 9:29 PM | 5-12-2008

Our prayers go out for the people of China that have been affected by this horrible disaster, and for the families waiting to get word about their loved ones there.

Sent by Connie Miller | 9:36 PM | 5-12-2008

What is the best way we can donate money online to the Red Cross of China or other relief agencies?

Sent by DIANA | 10:00 PM | 5-12-2008

For those of you asking about charitable organizations, I've just posted a list of some charities to the blog.

Sent by andy carvin, npr | 10:44 PM | 5-12-2008

My prayers go out to the people who suffer so much in natural disasters. All governments should mandate earthquake shelters in every house. That is the way that many lives will be saved in the future.

Sent by Richared Guy | 10:53 PM | 5-12-2008

I am living in Xi'an, China. We definitely felt the shaking here but few people have been injured. I've heard reports of a few deaths. My school and most others have been shut down today, May 13, to check for building damage. Apparently, there was a 5.7 quake at about 4 am (China time) this morning, but I slept through it. May be a rumour. Chinese authorities seem to be handling the situation well. Aid already on the way to the most seriously affected areas. Lots of road and rail damage slow down or halt traffic nearby Chengdu, slowing down aid. Limited communications available. I'm sure that donations will be needed as damages and loss of life are assessed.

Sent by RGallerno | 11:00 PM | 5-12-2008

My sincere condolences to family members in China and my prayers go out for them.

Sent by Paul | 11:36 PM | 5-12-2008

Our prayers go out for the people of China that have been affected by this horrible disaster, and for the families that lost relatives. Also, my condolences for Chinese's people that are suffering this disaster.God bless China

Sent by Sent by Anna, Camacho California, USA | 11:46 PM | 5-12-2008

I am deadly worried regarding the earthquake that shook China cos my boyfriend (Ross Stiffe, an Aussi) is there holidaying cum business trip. I wonder how is he at this time but i prayed and hope that he is safe and sound. Anyway, I just hope and pray that the victims are fine and alright. May God blesses you all there and i too pray that help would be sent soon by whatever means.

Sent by Mag Tsulue | 12:02 AM | 5-13-2008

I just called my parents in Leshan, Sichuan. No major damage is reported so far. It seems Leshan is fine, though people are nervous and spend most of the time outside.

Sent by Will | 12:15 AM | 5-13-2008

We Chinese Christian in Singapore pray. Mercy GOD, please let the buried out fast, please soothe the broken hearts of those loved deads. May HIS presence be there!

Sent by John | 12:49 AM | 5-13-2008

I was from China. It warms my heart to know so many people care and are praying. Thank you all.

Sent by JG | 12:51 AM | 5-13-2008

Amazing how we here in USA, half a world away, can now know instantly about a crisis in China- thanks to the internet. I only hope we will use this advantage to rally help from all over the world quickly to assist these precious people. We shouldn't wait for the chinese gov't to ASK for help, they may view the need to request help as weakness, ineptness, being unprepared. But who could ever really be prepared for such a disaster? We should all come together as a united world at times like this, especially we Americans who are so lucky to be as afluent as we are. Stop & consider how many things in our homes say 'made in China' on them, it has become a much smaller world & we are all interdependant on each other. Thankyou for the list of charitable organizations that are actively assisting so we can send something more helpful than warm wishes.

Sent by vero snyder | 1:00 AM | 5-13-2008

Monday, May 12, I heard from person in Econ. Development office of Leshan that 10 people were killed in Leshan. She said there was calm evacuation of her building. She was on 18th floor, near the river. I haven't heard back, yet, from my friend at the People's Hospital of Leshan.

Sent by C. Thomas | 1:04 AM | 5-13-2008

god bless of the chinese people hope u all will be safe during the after shocks . my prayers are with u all cant imagine what u just went thru we had a small quake last week here in kentucky but nothing like what u just went thru hope we never have to face a quake like that sent from faye in garrison kentucky may god bless and keep u all

Sent by faye caseman | 1:11 AM | 5-13-2008

we pray for you, stay strong. God bless
you all.

Sent by Yogan & Parvathy, Chicago/Malaysia | 1:26 AM | 5-13-2008

My heart goes out to all those affected by the quake. Take heart and God Almighty Bless You. Edith Kenya

Sent by Edith | 2:44 AM | 5-13-2008

I have been reading about China in National Geographic magazine. It has brought that area close to me. My heart goes out to the people during this devestation and I pray God's blessings and watch care on those who are left and those who grieve so many losses.

Sent by Geneva Hubble | 3:05 AM | 5-13-2008

We, a group of Filipino workers in Kuwait and some co workers, Indians and Arabs as well, specifically, Royale Hayat Hospital are deeply saddened with awe from this terrible disaster that happened in China. Our hearts and prayers are with them during this trying times. May God holds them in the palm of His hand to keep you safe and overcome this tribulation. God bless us all.

Sent by Isabel | 4:32 AM | 5-13-2008

My prayers and sympathies to every person and family in the quake zones.

The tremor, the cyclone in Burma, the tornadoes in the US -- these are fortuitous events we cannot stop from happening. We don't know when, where and how will they strike.

But events in Darfur, in Baghdad and in Beirut, and in many other places 'round the world where human-caused conflicts continue to bring in death tolls are something we, inhabitants of this planet can do something about and put a stop to.

We should all realize we live in the same world. And that forgetting about the polarizing past and vast differences is something that's DOABLE.

God bless us all!

Sent by Eyom | 4:49 AM | 5-13-2008

Has anyone got any information about what the effect of the earthquake has been in the primarily Tibetan areas of Sichuan Province? We have been unable to telephone or email our friends there already for a month or so due to the Chinese b;locking all communications into and out of Tibet. Since the earthqualke we have also been unable to contact any Tibetan friends living in Chengdu.

Sent by Maria Galbado | 4:54 AM | 5-13-2008

I am in England and got quite a shock wen I turned on my computer, for the last few years we have been made to think china had the earthquake problem under control but it would seem the Earth is proving us wrong, please except mine and my family deepist sympathy., and our deepest hope that the china goverment and people will work together on this awfully bad day

Clifford Lee

Sent by cliford lee | 5:41 AM | 5-13-2008

I'm very sorry for those who are heavily affected by this terrible quake; I'm praying for all of you that God will bless you and will help those in need. God bless China..

Sent by Niranjan | 5:50 AM | 5-13-2008

i am living in chongqing. chongqing had died about 50 people, hundrends of people were wounded, and two schools had collapsed. at 3:07p.m.wenchuan happend 6.1 mugnitude quake again! and thank you all for caring!

Sent by joyce | 7:34 AM | 5-13-2008

It is very sad that such a natural disaster has happened to China at this point in time. I feel greatly especially for the parents who had dropped their kids to school "as usual" only to lose them in such a grisly manner just after Mothers' day. Am so sorry and may God give courage and strength to the parents and generally to the people of China at this very difficult and trying moment for the Chinese people. We in Kenya love you and are praying for you. GOD LOVES YOU!

Sent by Kamenwa Jane, Nairobi, Kenya | 8:10 AM | 5-13-2008

I was just in Chongqing 2 weeks ago to visit my wifes family, and to purchase an apartment. We love this region of China, its people and history. Our hearts are heavy for all who have perished and to those who must survive with the pain of their loss. Be strong, the living need you.

Sent by Darrell Marsh | 8:12 AM | 5-13-2008

My best wishes to the Chinese people. I am planning to travel to the olympics and hope this changes nothing regarding future travel to China. Is there any organization set up for donations to help with the disaster??

Sent by Faye | 8:24 AM | 5-13-2008

I will pray for these people. If any one sponsor for me to go to China , I will work for them

Sent by M. Valliammal Sivanandan | 8:25 AM | 5-13-2008

Just wanted to say how very sorry I am that this happened.
We deal with hurricanes here on the Gulf coast, and I know how devestating those can be.
I can't even begin to imagine how it is for China right now...

Prayers going up right now,for those lost, and for those who are waiting to be found.

Sent by Sandy | 8:36 AM | 5-13-2008

I am an American Chinese living in PA, my famlies are in Beijing Area and Qinghai area. I called them this morning, everybody is fine. They did fell the earthquake. My prayer goes to all are suffering through this natural disaster...

Sent by Angel | 8:58 AM | 5-13-2008

We send our prayers and love to you and we ask God to bless you and keep you safe and to bless and welcome those who have passed on. Please hurry there are many people still alive in the rubble you can save them if your workers act quickly. I pray they do not suffer much. God Bless You All.

Sent by Kimberly Stevens, Virginia Beach, VA, USA | 9:04 AM | 5-13-2008

I visited Chengdu and the surrounding area last year as my brother-in-law is currently living there. He is doing fine, just a little nervous over the aftershocks. Visiting that area was truly one of the best experiences of my life; the people of Chengdu were incredibly kind, especially the children who would come and speak English with you when they found out you were an American.

We went to a place called Stone Elephant Lake about two hours away from Chengdu and I met a group of teenagers who followed me around the park talking with me and making me feel like family. (I told them I wished I could take them back to the US with me and they started calling me their American Mom.) It was the highlight of my trip as they were so sweet to me and they seemed to epitomize the friendly and caring nature of the Chinese people. I am praying they are okay; they were from an area called Harbin, I believe. I pray they were spared.

I cried yesterday thinking of all the children who perished in those schools; what a tragic loss for such sweet and caring people! My family lived through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and I can imagine this must be much worse as it came without warning and with no chance to evacuate. My heart and prayers are with the Chinese people at this difficult time.

Sent by Cindy Gelpi | 9:25 AM | 5-13-2008

Better building structures itself not helps to protect you from earthquakes itself, if you destined to be die, no matter whether you are in the top of the mountain or top or safest place where you can be. This is natural if you destiny is to go, you have to go anyways!!! If you are destiny to live, at least try to go near a Buddha statue or any kind of religious place. What I notice from most of the disasters, religious places are saved, Buddha statues are saved.

Sent by CHAMI | 9:33 AM | 5-13-2008

God please be with all the victims and their families! I pray that you help heal them and their communities!

Sent by Christina Holcomb | 9:39 AM | 5-13-2008

I am a Chinese. I feel warm after reading comments above. We will work hard to save the wounded in the disaster. God bless us!

Sent by feng zhilin | 9:47 AM | 5-13-2008

I am a Nigerian, residing in Lagos city. Heard about this news now on the yahoo page. First i thank God for his grace and mercy he has bestowed upon my country. Second I had a mixed feelings for those missing, dead and wounded. I could imagine what it look like to see death or danger ahead and yrt no help can be rendered not because people don't want to, but because there was little or nothing any one can do. but i want to ask, i read some peoples comment, staying out door is good, but is it still really safe to stay near buildings, trees and all that? May the good Lord preserve those that are wounded and grant them speedy recovery. for those whom have died, i also pray they will rest in the bosom of the lord. i prophecy that may such never happen, i mean never happen in the history of china again. the Lord will grant that nation peace in Jesus name, Amen.

Sent by ola-awefin maureen | 9:48 AM | 5-13-2008

To Judy Rae: I am moving to Chengdu this fall and use Maxxelli - here is what I got today from them:

"Hello Everyone,

Yesterday's events were quite startling and everyone has been affected to some degree. Many people were not able to get back into their house and many others slept outside for fear of another earthquake. Maxxelli will not be allowed back into our office until later tomorrow (Wednesday afternoon) at the earliest. I'm sure there are a number of issues that need to be addressed. For safety related emergencies, please contact us immediately, otherwise write an email and we will address everything as soon as possible.

I wish you all the best and that nothing serious happened. The phone system is still a bit overloaded, but is easier to make and receive calls and texts. If trying to reach someone, please be patient and keep trying.

Best Regards,

The Maxxelli Team

Sent by PESA | 9:52 AM | 5-13-2008

This earthquake remind me the one 1976, I was 5 years old that time. I lived in TianJin that time. I still remember how terrible it was. I feel very sorry for those family and people who are suffering now. Hope the help can reach them as quick as possible.

Sent by Jenny Jia | 10:30 AM | 5-13-2008

Robert Siegel's comment on NBC's evening news Monday in regards to Chengdu that the NPR crew was in a Chinese city "no one has ever heard of" was disconcerting to say the least.

I watched CNN's Mike Chinoy report from Chengdu back in 1992 on the evolving Chinese economy, as this key city in the Chinese "bread basket" epitomized the transformation. It's been important enough for the U.S. to build a significant consulate (I was there when it moved from the JinJiang Hotel to its own compound).

Even without the regular coverage of panda breeding that is popular with media outlets, the city is well known to international trekkers headed to Tibet, and even more so to "foodies" who recognize the city as the capital not just of the province, but of the province's spicy cuisine.

I was a visiting professor at Sichuan Normal University back in the mid-90s and made a memorable visit to Dujiangyan with a close Chinese friend whose family roots are in that city. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my gracious hosts from that visit are safe, and that my friend and her husband, who live in Chengdu, are safe as well.

As my students were all headed for jobs as middle school teachers, I am also very concerned for their fate considering the reports of school collapses. My students would be mid career teachers now if they stayed with the profession after their mandatory two-year teaching obligation.

Sent by J.T. Eaton | 10:47 AM | 5-13-2008

I need a Help Center information immediately, my friend who is about 8 months pregnant with a 3 year old boy are trapped in Chengdu. I do not speak or read Mandarin and I need information ASAP now they are living in a car after the earthquake and its raining and cold out there. Could someone help to find a help center in Chengdu I can contact?

Sent by Joanna | 11:01 AM | 5-13-2008

How to help earthquake victims-Following up on Meg Young's blog, I work with her on a micro-finance project in the mountains west of Chengdu, where the quake hit hardest. I was boarding a plane to Chengdu when the quake hit and am back in Vermont organizing a relief effort. Meg and I, and other ECOLOGIA staff members have been exchanging messages as they run in and out of their building during after shocks. We are going to work with our established on-the-ground partner to give micro-loans for home and village infrastructure repair and reconstruction. If you want to help Chinese earthquake victims and work with Meg and others, check out our project at
www.ecologia.org . We have the distinction of being on the ground with fantastic local partners, and will be there long after the immediate emergency relief ends.

Sent by Randy Kritkausky | 8:01 AM | 5-14-2008

Medical Supplies to West China Hospital in Chengdu. The China Earthquake Fund, in collaboration with Project C.U.R.E. has already sent $400,000 worth of medical supplies to West China Hospital. See www.http://chinaquake.zhan.cn.yahoo.com to learn about the nonprofit organization Chinese Earthquake Fund. This initiative, spearheaded by Shou-Ching Tang, MD, Director of Hematology/Oncology at Denver Health in Denver, CO, has been established to raise funds for medical supplies for West China Hospital in Chengdu. It is located 60 miles from the epicenter and is treating 1200 seariously injured victims, more than half need secondary surgery. You can find out how to donate money at the aforementioned website. Thanks for doing more than weeping for the victims of this devastating earthquake.

Sent by Paul Johnston | 6:47 PM | 5-28-2008

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