Rescue efforts are continuing in Sichuan province after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck near to Yaan, killing 188 people and leaving over 11,000 injured.
21 people are still missing in Lushan and Baoxing counties, where rescue efforts have been hampered by traffic congestion, caused in part by the huge influx of emergency services and volunteers to the area.
Perhaps in response to the too-many-cooks situation currently taking place on the roads leading in to the Yaan area, star blogger Han Han has called for celebrities stay away from the disaster area. Yao Ming however, is going.
CY Leung has pledged Hong Kong’s support to victims of the earthquake, as has Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. Singaporean Prime Minister posted a letter that he wrote to Xi Jinping on his official Facebook account, in which he expressed his “deepest condolences“.
Eleanor Lam of Hong Kong Red Cross, whose team had reached the outskirts of Yaan city, said there did not appear to be a shortage of relief supplies. However, many roads to Lushan county – the worst-hit area – were closed, hindering the delivery of supplies.
World Vision Hong Kong has initially committed HK$780,000 and Unicef Hong Kong has pledged HK$1 million.
Beijing has issued thanks to the international community for its offers of support:
“The Chinese government and people are sincerely grateful to various means of assistances offered by some countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement.
“Considering the inconvenient traffic and telecommunications in quake zone, foreign rescue and medical teams and materials are not required now,” Qin said, adding that China will make requests if needed.
Premier Li Keqiang is in Sichuan, where he has visited victims in hospital as this rather touching, not at all posed photo shows:
The government’s response to the disaster, and Li’s trip to the stricken area, has been praised, though the premier’s presence hasn’t reassured everyone, such as this small boy who seems confused whether Li is about to hit or high-five him:
And this government official, who has rather blatantly removed what we can assume was an expensive watch for his trip around the disaster area with Li (h/t: Bill Bishop):
The Telegraph posted this video of the moment the earthquake struck, terrifying:
The Yaan earthquake has of course raised memories of the terrible quake that struck Sichuan in 2008, killing almost 70,000 people. At the time, some scientists, both Chinese and foreign, suggested that dams in the area could have been somewhat responsible for the seismic activity. GreatFire.org, a website which monitors censorship in China, reports that suggestions that dams – particularly the Three Gorges Dam – may have anything to do with the Yaan quake, are being deleted on Weibo:
— GreatFire.org (@GreatFireChina) April 22, 2013
On a lighter note (and for those that missed it over the weekend) a reporter in Sichuan was about to get married when the earthquake hit, undeterred, she rushed to file a report in her wedding dress:
All 170 pandas in the nearby Woolong reserve were unaffected by the quake. They were, understandably, terrified however. Beijing Cream brings us this video of one panda climbing a tree to ‘escape’ the earthquake:
Finally, two photos of panda’s allegedly hugging policemen or keepers because they’re scared which are doing the rounds on Twitter and Weibo, are fake (kind of). This photo is from 2006, and nothing to do with any earthquake:
And this one, which is loosely related to an earthquake, but not the Yaan earthquake, is from 2012:
They’re still incredibly cute though.