Hope you’re all ok. I’m not in Chengdu, but I have lived through earthquakes in Japan. Just to add to a few comments above, there is no point in trying to get out of a building during an earthquake. You only put yourself at increased risk and many people are injured when they try. But the bottom line is that in a really big quake, you have little hope of making it to an exit anyway. You simply cannot walk across a floor that is thrashing around like an out-of-control carnival ride. Every earthquake is different. Some are powerful and sustained, others are short and explosive. If your building is shaking violently, all experts recommend you take cover and wait until the shaking stops. Then you should turn off gas and exit quickly to assess the situation.
An earthquake kit is a very good idea if you are in a seismically active zone. Keep a backpack near your best point of exit. Some essentials not mentioned above but which should be included are bottled water, flip-flops, a torch, face masks, money, and passport. The worst thing about disasters is that they never unfold in a predictable way and you are forced to make decisions quickly in circumstances that are completely unfamiliar. Your first experience of a life-threatening earthquake might be crawling in pitch black across upended wardrobes and broken glass as smoke fills your apartment at 2 in the morning. Be prepared folks! You increase your odds of survival significantly.April 20, 2013 at 10:00 am #30418
Joining in late but this was quite terrifying.
I obviously was not in Chengdu in 2008 but it was not the first time for me being abruptly woken up by an earthquake. Even on the 11th floor we felt it pretty damn hard even though nothing fell off anything in our apartment. Growing up in Italy I always had to go through earthquake drills and have always been told that if you can you should always leave the building and go into the closest open space, which is quite different from what people here seem to imply. No one, even back in the day, would have ever suggested to hang out in the near vicinity of a building during or after a quake, the advice has always been to go to an open space far away from any building or anything that could basically fall on you.
As an aside, I am not a morning person but within 3 seconds of waking up because of the quake I was up shouting orders to my girlfriend as to what to do. Poor thing has never experienced a significant earthquake. Still, was pretty scary how strong some of the aftershocks were.April 20, 2013 at 10:03 am #30419April 20, 2013 at 11:37 am #30421
Regarding the whole “running out of the building” thing, see, this is how ugly rumors get started.
No one (meaning me) said anything about running off hysterically at the first shudder, especially if all you have to worry about is a couple of pictures dropping off the wall. All I said was if the building you’re in feels unsafe, (ie, it’s about to collapse on your head) then sure, get out if you can. I mean, why wouldn’t you? On the other hand, if you are lucky enough to find yourself in structurally sound building, then duck and cover till your heart’s content. (As million of American school kids found out in the 1950s, it’s also a surefire defense again nuclear bombs, so suck on that, North Korea.)
I don’t know about anyone else but I have actually left a building via the stairs during a bone-shatteringly big earthquake (twice, actually) and if push came to shove, I would do it again. Sure, it’s not super fun being knocked about in a stairwell, but it’s infinitely preferable, I’d wager, to being crushed by even a few floors’ worth of fridges, sofas, washing machines and flat screen TVs. (One tip: try not to do it with anyone who has a tendency to fear-induced knee-buckling – it tends to slow you down.)
Obviously, do not try this if you are elderly, infirm or a small child.
Anyway, I’m sorry, if anyone has gotten the wrong idea but I suspect that most people who have been following this thread did not actually misunderstand my original comment, if that’s even what all the later chatter has sprung from.
@rick, thanks for posting that map. It actually helps a lot. I think most of my concern re earthquakes and Chinese building standards can be traced to this one image:
I went past my old apartment before and was actually surprised it didn’t look like that.
On a more productive note, it looks like my girlfriend’s colleagues will be going out to Yaan tomorrow and the next day. I’m thinking it would be good to load them up with supplies, if anyone has stuff to donate.
Not sure about the logistics though because they would be leaving from Xinjing, which is SW of Chengdu and would mean adding two hours to the trip if they were to come back to Chengdu first.
If anyone has any information about what’s specifically being asked for or any idea about how to solicit or collect donations or how to get them to Xinjing, I’d be happy to hear them.
I know it’s all pretty short notice and they might not even be able to get through anyway, but I think it’s worth a shot.April 20, 2013 at 11:39 am #30422
So scary. I was going to turn on gas for boiling water at that moment. When house shaking, i have one minute don’t know what to do, where to hide. then i remember i need to turn off the gas.
These days is enough, Poisoning at FuDan Universityt ，debate about Poisoning happen at QingHua Universityt 20 years ago. H7N9. Bomb at Boston marathon.
What else?????April 20, 2013 at 11:59 am #30423
You forgot bird flu. It’s a laugh a minute these days…April 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm #30424
FYI, some friends of mine were on their way to Ya’an from Chengdu this morning when the quake hit. They kept going until they got the pass in the mountain and the road was unpassable due to landslide.
Also, a little late, but I just found this site live blogging the earthquake today. http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1219123/live-blog-yaan-earthquakeApril 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm #30425
I am really not feeling very well, really! because all these news. this afternoon i feel very upset.April 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm #30426
Roberto BiondoParticipantQuote:Check on aftershocks TODAY
Was checking that earlier on and it is a bit disconcerting the frequency of some of the mid-range aftershocks. Mind, my girlfriend found a source stating that there have been 35 aftershocks above 3.0 but if you take into account lower than that the total of aftershocks as of this afternoon was something like 256.
And to think earthquakes is the last thing we thought about checking out as far as Chengdu is concerned hahah!April 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm #30427
The bigger the quake, the bigger the aftershocks (and the more of them). Check out this map of north-eastern Japan two years ago…April 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm #30428
my roommate just told me about the aftershock predictions for tonight. anyone have sites and links about this info？
Also, i live on the 14th floor. is this still “unsafe”?April 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm #30429
ng so fanParticipant
earthquake pre-warning: news kept talking about how critical for the few seconds people get to know by earthquake pre-warning, but how this works? through tv broadcast, weibo? it seems tv news are so late here, it wasnt even on the news after over 1 hours after hitted.
i am on 27th floor, the whole building was swinging back and forth … to me, it is a no way out obviously, not scared at all, just wished if it collapsed, please be quick and die instantly.
btw, let’s pray for the victims and help with what we can, donate some money or supplies etc.April 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm #30430
Rick in ChinaParticipant
The building is suppose to swing back and forth 😀 that is a good thing, not a bad thing.. if it doesn’t swing, it collapses.April 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm #30432
The end of the world as we know it!! Stay inside.
Unless there’s an earthquake, then run outside/stay inside/undecide/side/side/more side.
The end.April 21, 2013 at 3:05 am #30433
Ewwww… Anyone else feel that one!? My apartment just took a good swing again.April 21, 2013 at 4:02 am #30435
Rick in ChinaParticipant
Slept thru it, but was told it shook the bed..April 21, 2013 at 5:26 am #30436April 21, 2013 at 7:34 am #30439
Just felt a aftershockApril 21, 2013 at 9:13 am #30440
I just felt one about 10 min. ago less than a minute after getting home to our apt. We spent most of the day outside on the ground and didn’t even feel the 5.5 that happened right after 5PM. I definitely think on the ground in an open area would make me sleep better. Maybe I should go camping.April 21, 2013 at 11:01 am #30443
If you want to send any clothes, food or water. China post will send for free you can take them to your local post officeApril 21, 2013 at 11:24 am #30444
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