Watch: Minxian County Cafeteria Crumbles During Gansu Earthquake That Killed At Least 89

Gansu Minxian cafeteria collapses during earthquake
Twin earthquakes of 5.9 and 5.6 magnitude struck near Dingxi in Gansu province on Monday morning, leaving at least 89 dead and hundreds more injured. (The magnitude numbers are via the US Geological Survey; the China Earthquake Networks Center measured it at 6.6). The latest from AFP states, "China's official Xinhua news agency said initial investigations showed at least 5,785 houses had collapsed and another 73,000 were severely damaged."

Chinese city using dogs to detect earthquakes… dogs that bark incessantly, annoying everyone

The East is Read
In the age of hypersensitive geological instruments and scientific tools, isn’t it nice to know that the best way to detect earthquakes is with a warm-bloodied creature called a dog? Right, no. It’s a quaint idea — using canines to predict the earth’s tremors — but after implementation in one Chinese city, it’s also something... Read more »

When Good Officials Get Sacked, Like Yang Chengyi Of Earthquake-Stricken Qingyuan

Yang Changyi Sichuan
The first Chinese official to lose his job as a result of the Ya’an Earthquake is Yang Chengyi, 47, of Qingyuan township. Did he embezzle aid? Wear a gold watch? Smile while inspecting an accident site when he should have frowned? If only. According to SCMP, Yang was fired after failing to meet with disciplinary inspectors because... Read more »

Are Dams Exacerbating Earthquakes In Sichuan? Authorities Aren’t Considering The Possibility

Sichuan earthquake victims hold banner saying officials don't care
On April 20, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck Lushan in Sichuan, 160 km southwest of the provincial capital of Chengdu. While much smaller than the 8.0-magnitude (125 times more severe) quake that hit the region in 2008, Xinhua reports that there are 192 dead and more than 11,000 injured. Sichuan is no stranger to earthquakes. Since records began there... Read more »

This Elderly Couple, Holding Hands While Leaving Their Earthquake-Stricken Neighborhood, Will Melt Your Heart

Old couple walking while holding hands
If you'll allow yourself a quick moment of unabashedly sentimental feel-goodness, please turn your attention to this story out of Longmen Township in Sichuan province. A Youku citizen journalist encountered an old couple walking down a mountain road in this earthquake-striken part of town on Monday at 9 am. The woman, hard of hearing, is 90 years old this year, while her husband is 88. The couple has no home to return to -- "just a tent," says the husband.

Watch As A Demolition Team, As Part Of Post-Earthquake Efforts, Blows Up A Boulder Blocking A Road

Boulder blown up after Ya'an earthquake
The earth's convulsion along the Longmenshan front on Saturday jiggered a few rocks loose from the mountains of Sichuan, among other things, and on a narrow road connecting Longmentong and Baosheng Township, a boulder rested squarely in the middle, blocking everything. Two days later, the bulldozers were out, along with a demolition team. Uniformed young men, looking like China's version of the national guard, ushered villagers from the area. Experts drilled a hole into the boulder, then packed it with gunpowder. Then, beginning at the 2:40 mark, a silent countdown... toward... KABLOOEY.

Earthquake Links: Roundup of news stories on the 6.6-magnitude Ya’an Earthquake

Li Keqiang in earthquake disaster tent
Via Go Chengdoo A 6.6/7.0-magnitude earthquake (according to the US Geological Survey/China Earthquake Networks Center) affecting 69 counties and 1.5 million people struck Sichuan province at 8:02 am on Saturday. People are calling it the Ya’an Earthquake, after the city where the the epicenter is located, 140 kilometers from the capital Chengdu. The current death... Read more »