As “reported” yesterday by Ben, there was a magnitude 7.9 earthquake centered in southwestern China on Monday outside of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province destroying approximately 80 percent of structures in some of the towns and small cities near its epicenter. The latest number of deaths as a result of the quake is about 10,000. No doubt this number will grow. The Los Angeles Times reports that, “In the U.S., anxious Chinese immigrants follow news of quake:”
“[Annie] Wang, who has been in the U.S. for a year, says Los Angeles is home to many Sichuan immigrants. It’s a community that mostly reflects the working-class character of the province. Many came to Southern California to work in restaurants and, like Wang, found jobs in the dozens of foot massage parlors that dot the San Gabriel Valley. Many leaders of the area’s Chinese community scrambled to organize relief efforts as soon as word of the earthquake surfaced. Sue Zhang, the chief organizer behind the Beijing Olympic Rose Parade float this year, said she had been on the phone with community leaders all morning to plan a fundraising event. She hopes to announce a weekend concert soon, with proceeds going to quake victims. She said the community has been galvanized in recent weeks by a string of rallies defending China’s policies and promoting the Beijing Olympic Games.””
I think all Americans can sympathize with the losses to the latest natural disasters – both in Myanmar/Burma and in China. From watching the news this evening, the Chinese government seems to be doing everything it can to get relief to the area, unlike Myanmar’s government.
Personally, I have had friends and relatives go through many major earthquakes, including the Bay Area’s magnitude 6.9 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake when my cousin was a freshman at Berkeley, two of my college friends surviving the 1995 Kobe, Japan earthquake, another college friend the 1999 7.6 magnitude Istanbul earthquake, and my relatives experiencing the 7.6 magnitude 1999 Taiwan earthquake. I can only imagine Chinese-Americans’ concerns at this moment in time, especially in the more rural and hard-to-reach areas. Thankfully, I have yet to experience a major quake (and hope I never have to).