SF Bay Area American Canyon 6.0 Earthquake, Chinese Reactions

Products fallen on the ground from a supermarket's shelves after a 6.0 earthquake near San Francisco in Northern California with an epicenter in American Canyon.

From NetEase & Sina:

6.0 Earthquake North of San Francisco, United States, Epicenter 11 Kilometers Deep

CCTV News:

Currently No Report of Casualties — 3:20am local time, a 6.0 Richter-scale earthquake occurred at American Canyon in Northern California of the United States. At present, there are no reports of casualties. The earthquake was felt in San Francisco, with California residents using social media websites to post photos of items having been knocked over in their homes. The California Highway Patrol has begun inspecting the Golden Gate Bridge, etc.

6.0 Earthquake Occurred North of San Francisco in the United States — According to United States Geological Survey information, at 18:20 Beijing time, a 6.0 Richter-scale earthquake occurred to the north of San Francisco, California in the United States (latitude: 38.21° longitude: 122.32°), with epicenter at a depth of 11 kilometers.

california-earthquake-american-canyon-02

Comments from NetEase:

飓风YGVH [网易云南省手机网友]:

Sitting here waiting for casualty figures.

网易新疆手机网友 ip:49.119.*.*

I guarantee there won’t be more than a few deaths.

十三只猴子 [网易浙江省金华市手机网友]:

Yikes! Now there’s something to compare [the recent Yunnan earthquake] with.

黄易物质文明办主任 [网易澳大利亚手机网友]:

The people of imperialist America live in an abyss of suffering.

[Note: This is a sarcastic allusion to old communist propaganda.]

网易湖北省武汉市手机网友 ip:113.57.*.*

The shorter the news, the bigger the incident.

evanzhan [网易广东省珠海市手机网友]:

For stand-alone houses, this kind of earthquake can be completely disregarded.

网易江苏省苏州市昆山市手机网友 ip:58.209.*.*

Imperialist America, grasps core technology.

RAY78567zml [网易美国手机网友]:

I felt it.

没有跟帖就是最好跟帖 [网易四川省成都市手机网友]:

Why hasn’t the American military entered the disaster area? Why aren’t they rescuing disaster victims in the rubble? Why haven’t Americans lit candles? Why hasn’t the American Red Cross distributed blankets to the disaster victims? Why aren’t they erecting tents for the people in the disaster area?

[Note: This comment is sarcastically juxtaposing the difference in respone to the recent Yunnan earthquake.]

955c09b77e98ba9bc42d7bfe [网易埃及手机网友]:

Prayers.

california-earthquake-american-canyon-03

From NetEase:

6.0 Earthquake in San Francisco, United States, Currently 89 Injured, None Dead

China News Service, Napa, August 24 report — At around 3:20am on August 24 local time, the San Francisco Bay Area experienced a 6.0 Richter scale earthquake, with the epicenter being American Canyon in Napa Valley located about 60 kilometers northeast of San Francisco. Afterward there were also over 60 small-scale aftershocks. At present, there have been no fatalities and 89 injured.

This China News Service reporter located over 80 kilometers to the southwest of the epicenter was awoken by strong shaking, and drove one and a half hours to the Napa city center that was most severely hit. Travel along the roads and bridges along the way was smooth, with the 101, 80, 37, or 12 freeways nor the Bay Bridge and [unknown] Bridge all unimpeded. Entering downtown Napa, electricity had been cut, traffic lights were no longer working, and rescue vehicles and helicopters could be seen.

In downtown where there was the most damage, on the 3rd Street and Main Street commercial street, large blocks of stone had fallen from the historic courthouse walls, while the law office and shops across the street also had cracks and crumbling of their walls, with one parked car near the building having been smashed by a stone.

Multiple historic buildings suffered damage, including the post office and library. The glass doors and windows of several stores had been shattered, with shattered glass covering the ground.

A pipeline for a shopping center had burst, flooding a clothing store, with employees cleaning up the glass and accumulated water.

Local police have put up police lines in front of multiple damaged buildings, warning people to keep their distance.

In front of the Napa Queen of the Valley Medical Center, hospital president Walk Mikens said to this China News Service reporter that there were 89 injuries, with most of them being light injuries such as cuts and bruises. There are two adults and one child with serious injuries, including bone fractures and head injuries, but were not life-threatening.

Information from Napa police say there were perhaps six mobile homes that caught fire, but no injuries.

This China News Service reporter observed that city residents were calm, with some storefronts in the process of cleaning up fallen items and broken glass, while others were providing hot drinks for pedestrians passing by.

The San Francisco Bay Area is located in an earthquake belt, with the last major earthquake being 25 years ago in 1989 when a 6.8 earthquake occurred. (End)

(Original title: 6.0 Earthquake in America’s San Francisco Bay Area, So Far No Deaths, 89 Injured)

california-earthquake-american-canyon-04

Comments from NetEase:

拒绝穿内裤的男人 [网易广东省中山市网友]:

Tomorrow’s headline: American Soldiers Cook Instant Noodles in Muddy Water

[Note: This sarcastically alludes to a controversial photo and story of Chinese soldiers part of the disaster response to the recent Yunnan earthquake having to cook their meal in muddy water.]

网易上海市手机网友 [毛大米]:

This earthquake in the United States is a warning tot he United States, that if the United States continues to run amok and commit outrages [in the world], North America will become a sea of fire [be destroyed].

GD250 [网易云南省昆明市手机网友]: (responding to above)

Then how should China’s earthquakes be explained? Scum.

围观傻X [网易上海市网友]:

Without deaths, how are American government officials supposed to earn praise for their performance? How are they supposed to show their devotion to the people? How are they supposed to launch necessary measures? How are they supposed to get donations to buy nice things?

狗熊说我很快乐 [网易湖北省武汉市网友]:

No deaths.

[Note: This comment is drawing attention to the difference in death tolls between an earthquake in America versus China, such as in the recent Yunnan earthquake.]

何时开灯 [网易湖北省咸宁市网友]:

“rescue vehicles and helicopters could be seen”
Why? The Evil Imperialist America is able to dispatch helicopters this fast after a disaster?

淫得一手好濕 [网易河南省郑州市手机网友]:

Those who upvote me will be Americans in their next life!

ystahzy [网易广东省广州市荔湾区网友]:

Truly a great/impressive country!! It cannot be disputed. There are no tofu dregs construction, no fallen over buildings!! *thumbs up*

摸着石头就是不过河 [网易陕西省西安市网友]:

Why is a degenerate capitalist country better than superior socialist countries in everything?

外国的那点事 [网易浙江省温州市网友]:

1. San Francisco earthquake does not mean an earthquake in San Francisco city. You have to consider the epicenter. San Francisco city was 40 miles away from the epicenter.
2. There are mistakes in this news report. There are a lot of buildings in the Napa region that have been destroyed. Some bridges and roads are broken.
3. The population density around the epicenter is very low. Additionally, San Francisco is an area with a lot of earthquakes, prohibiting the construction of too many high-rise buildings. Most buildings are wooden structures. These are the core reasons why there are few casualties.
4. Whether it is the epicenter or San Francisco, there have already been multiple incidents of smashing-and-looting and intentional criminal behavior at supermarkets and shopping centers, with armed United States National Guard responding.
5. What American officials are more concerned with is whether or not there will be an accompanying tsunami, but so far there hasn’t been.
6. San Francisco is the city with the second highest proportion of ethnic Chinese (first is Toronto). Shouldn’t we first express some concern for these ethnic Chinese?
7. The crack in Mexico, the San Francisco earthqake, the Chili earthquake, such heavily seismic regions often release [geological] energy…

louis兰和玉 [网易加拿大手机网友]:

If you fenqing dislike your own country this much, you can figure out a way to get lost off to America. No one is stopping you. Why aren’t there any deaths? Because American residential homes are almost all wood construction, single-family stand-alone “houses” [compared to apartment buildings], while China’s buildings are almost all brick construction, so casualties will naturally be higher. China’s 1.3 billion population all living in wooden houses is simply unreaslistic. Those who can afford them are all rich people, living in “villas”. If China’s population was also 300 million, we too could all be living in our own [stand-alone, single-family] houses. The issue is China’s population. Fuck, think of how just how little the population is of the entire North American continent [in comparison to China]. Complainers only know how to complain!

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  • Probotector

    Good to know there’s been no deaths so far; sympathies to the injured.

    Some intelligent comments, especially the ones about the fault-line and the housing construction. However, others were more bizarre.

    “Tomorrow’s headline: American Soldiers Cook Instant Noodles in Muddy Water”

    “Without deaths, how are American government officials supposed to earn praise for their performance? How are they supposed to show their devotion to the people? How are they supposed to launch necessary measures? How are they supposed to get donations to buy nice things?”

    “Why? The Evil Imperialist America is able to dispatch helicopters this fast after a disaster?”

    Why is it that when people are talking about a country they know little about (and westerners especially do this also) they assume that said country does things the exact same way, and suffers from the same problems and shortcomings as their own country?

    Then there’s the dumb ‘karma’ argument.

    “This earthquake in the United States is a warning tot he United States, that if the United States continues to run amok and commit outrages [in the world], North America will become a sea of fire [be destroyed].”

    Westerners are guilty of this too, remember Sharon Stone said in 2008 that the Sichuan earthquake back then was karma for the Xinjang crackdown that year?

    “Why is a degenerate capitalist country better than superior socialist countries in everything?”

    The answer is self-evident.

    • Kai

      Re: Muddy Water

      [Note: This sarcastically alludes to a controversial photo and story of Chinese soldiers part of the disaster response to the recent Yunnan earthquake having to cook their meal in muddy water.]

      The second comment you quote is also a sarcastic comment criticizing Chinese government officials. It’s joking that Chinese government officials rely on deadly disasters to put on a show of demonstrating their worth as well as an opportunity to embezzle money from donations and disaster funds.

      The thid comment is similar. It is actually the Chinese commenter criticizing what s/he thinks is a slow response during the Yunnan earthquake. S/he’s suggesting the quick appearance of copters in the American earthquake shows that the American disaster response was faster and more efficient than the Chinese response to Yunnan.

      Why is it that when people are talking about a country they know little about (and westerners especially do this also) they assume that said country does things the exact same way, and suffers from the same problems and shortcomings as their own country?

      That’s not what they’re saying. I hope the above explanations clears up this misunderstanding.

      Then there’s the dumb ‘karma’ argument.

      Yep. Fortunately in this case, it wasn’t among the most upvoted comments. The comment criticizing it was. That’s reassuring, but it’s always demoralizing when people say or–worse–believe dumbass shit like this.

      • Probotector

        Sarcasm again? I’ll take our word for it. It’s not exactly easy to detect from written comments.

        • Irvin

          But it was explicitly explained that it was sarcasm.

        • Kai

          It’s okay, aside from the first one where there was an explicit note, there’s nothing horribly wrong about misunderstanding a translated comment and I didn’t think your comment/question in reply to those comments was particularly egregious.

          That said, I don’t think you should make drastic subsequent edits to your original comment without including a note that you did so. It makes it hard for people to understand other people’s comments in reply to the original content of your comment. Spelling and grammar is one thing, but editing out chunks of content that other people were directly replying to creates confusion and makes it harder to follow and understand a conversation as it unfolded.

          • Probotector

            Is that part of the comment policy?

          • Kai

            No, it’s a suggestion of common courtesy and netiquette. I doubt you’d appreciate others revising history to make your past responses to their comments suddenly unintelligible.

          • Probotector

            Well actually, I was doing it to correct a mistake, as opposed to trying to fool someone. It’s typical of you to take the insecure interpretation.

          • Kai

            There’s a difference between correcting one’s mistake and erasing one’s mistake.

            Moreover, if I was eager to proffer an “insecure” interpretation, I would’ve said that right off the bat.

            Instead, I gave you the benefit of the doubt, expressing empathy for mistakes and misunderstandings, and made a sincere suggestion. It isn’t just my response that your erasure of your “mistake” affects.

          • mr.wiener

            Man, is that chip on your shoulder heavy?

    • vincent_t

      dude, those are sarcastic comment aiming at the shortcoming of Chinese Government. I don’t want to hurt your feeling, but kinda funny that your statement “Why is it that when people are talking about a country they know little about (and westerners especially do this also)” seems to apply to you in this case.

      • Probotector

        So you’re saying I know nothing about China because, in your opinion, I am mistaken on this one issue of not realising sarcasm? (which is hard to detect in written translations). Clever trying to use my own phrase against me, but it doesn’t really hold water.

        • SongYii

          there is a mix of absurd sarcastic comments and absurd genuine comments here… its not perfectly clear which is which, complicated by the translator pointing out the sarcasm of some but not others.

          remember pat robertson and that bloated fuckbag jerry falwell saying 9/11 and katrina were cause by homosexuals?

  • b duck

    This earthquake in the United States is a warning tot he United States, that if the United States continues to run amok and commit outrages [in the world], North America will become a sea of fire [be destroyed].

    hahahaha!

    • David

      Yea, I liked that one too. BW AMOK is a word borrowed from Indonesia, via the Dutch. Means insane.

      • b duck

        you are Long hair insane too!

        • KamikaziPilot

          Yup long hair + purple shirt = insane.

          • David

            Hey, don’t forget I am eating Cold Stone in the picture. While it is very delicious, you almost have to be crazy to pay that much money for ice cream.

          • b duck

            as a poor diaosi, my favorite ice cream is this.
            only 2.5 rmb or 3 rmb.

          • David

            I think ice cream is one of those foods that you really develop a particular liking for. While I know soe people who have come to China (or Korea or Japan even) that like the local ice cream most really prefer that in their local country. That being aid, I have eaten plenty of drumsticks (what we call frozen ice cream in a cone) at the local store which is fine.

          • Kai

            The Magnums are good (legit ice cream, thick chocolate shells), but granted, they are priced at a premium.

          • David

            Yea, they taste like a DOVE bar.

          • moop

            ewwww

          • Kai

            LoL, those things are like 4% milk, 95% water, and 1% food coloring.

          • Kai

            Hah, that’s pretty bad. I think a lot of the cheaper ice creams in China have too little actual milk in them and too much water. Not creamy enough to be ice cream to me.

            And as a poor diaosi, is that a Mac keyboard I see?

          • b duck

            ha, i used online photo.
            i am not much into ice cream.and i think most foreign brands are too sweet for me.so i prefer this one more.
            but i like 八喜 Most.

          • KamikaziPilot

            Does the ice cream in China taste less sweet to you compared to American ice cream? I’m just talking about the store bought brands (kind of like that picture above), not ice cream stores or foreign brands. I’m not familiar with the milk/water content differences but that could be a reason. It does taste less sweet to me, which is why I like it better. Although I don’t really have a sweet tooth, I have a weak spot for ice cream. Even better is well made gelato, the best dessert there is IMO.

          • Kai

            Hm, maybe. I haven’t bought the sort of cheap ice cream like in the picture above in a long time (cuz they’re not worth the calories) so I’m not certain. A lot of Chinese people do tend to think of Western sweets as being too sweet though, if that’s worth anything.

            Milk content generally dictates the “creaminess” (texture) of the ice cream. High water content results in more prominent ice crystals. The fat in milk also enhances flavor compared to water.

          • David

            I know in general Asians don’t like their treats as sweet as we do, so I would not be surprised. my wife likes a lot less sugar and a lot more salt in everything. I don’t really remember what the picture was. I had been in China about a month and when I saw the Cold Stone store I thought my wife would find the picture funny, so I had my friend take it.. It is inside the Cold Stone against one of the walls.

          • Kai

            Hah, yeah, what bothers me more about Coldstone is that they sometimes work the ice cream too much that it becomes too soft and melted for my taste.

          • David

            Yea but we have one near our home in America and my wife loves it, so I got used to going once a week in the summer. Have only been to the one in Suzhou the one time I took this picture since I got to China.

          • Kai

            Ah, yeah. We have quite a few here in Shanghai but I rarely go. I kinda wish 31 Baskin Robbins was still in business here.

          • Rick in China

            We have a few Baskin Robbins in Chengdu.. I’m surprised they’d go out of business in Shanghai.

          • Kai

            Yeah, there were two or three relatively near me (commerical areas I was liable to frequent) but they closed down one after another not long after they opened. This was a few years ago. I really miss my Mocha Almond Fudge.

          • Paco

            I don’t recall seeing a taco bell there….correct me if wrong?

          • KamikaziPilot

            Ahhh, I was wondering what that was your were eating, but I didn’t want to ask for fear of being accused of being obsessed with your picture, haha. Now that we’re on the subject, what’s that picture behind you? Looks like a painting of a dog?

          • Kai

            I’m pretty sure it’s a big poster of some Coldstone concoction. Damn, all this talk has me wanting ice cream all of a sudden. Cookies and cream maybe…

          • KamikaziPilot

            I haven’t been in a Cold Stone in years but now that I think of it that does kind of look like the interior of a cold stone store IIRC. It really looks like a dog though.

        • David

          Actually, most of my life I have had very short hair, especially since leaving the military twenty plus years ago. I started to grow my hair long two years ago for “Locks of Love” which is a charity in America (come to think of it I don’t know if they are in other counties or not). When I get back I will get it cut and have short hair again. I actually do not like having long hair, it is incredibly annoying to me. Since this is like the third comment you made about my hair, you can now stop obsessing about it. Also, since you sound like a teenage, I am almost old enough to be your grandfather, so I don’t really spend a lot of time trying to look sexy.

      • vincent_t

        Now i m convinced you are an English teacher, in a good way, no sarcasm :)

        • David

          lol Actually I am a historian but yes, in China I teach English.

      • Irvin

        And kowtow was borrowed from china don’t know by whom but it’s been used alot lately especially on tv.

        • Heinz57

          So is “catsup”.

          • Kai

            LoL, this was one of the words I only recently learned had its origins in Chinese. Mind was totally blown.

        • Jahar

          I hate when people do this. “We are important too! look look look!” lots of words came from lots of languages. Stop seeking validation.

          • Irvin

            More of a curiosity than validation, why now all of a sudden? And more importantly why this particular word and not others?

          • Jahar

            Maybe that was a little harsh. I don’t know if you are Chinese or not, but sometimes it seems anytime i say something about something being good anywhere, a chinese person always has to try to top it, or point out why their culture is relevant.

          • David

            I believe he was just adding to the conversation and topic I started to be humorous, interesting and entertaining, which most of us found his comment.

    • Seismic activity in Texas and Oklahoma is up recently. Many are blaming fracking for this. Fracking is going to become a HUGE environmental disaster in about 2-3 years and those companies will declare bankruptcy and leave the mess for someone else.

      • b duck

        i am not american, i never been there either, guess would never.
        so you do not need to write so many words to me.
        oh, my own dream is just to be a shanghainese.
        anyway, thank you so much!

        • Where do you live now?
          Why Shanghai?

          • b duck

            ha, i am travelling now.
            because someone insulted me that i dream to be shanghainese.
            it’s a good joke,isn’t it?
            hahaha!

        • KamikaziPilot

          How come you didn’t reply to my friend request? You don’t like my picture?

          • b duck

            no, not at all!

          • KamikaziPilot

            What! You ain’t got no love for your Japanese brother? I was just trying to be friendly. Now that you rejected me I really want to sit on your face all night long.

          • b duck

            you just look like a hippo!

          • KamikaziPilot

            A hippo! WTF! I think you need to get your eyes checked. I’m the best looking guy on this website. Or better yet, why don’t you post a picture of yourself to we can all see how good looking you are.

      • Guang Xiang

        Damn, and i’m hoping my company will send me back to the US cause of the cheaper oil there.

        • The price of oil has to be high enough to justify fracking activity. Cheap money/Debt has allowed tracking companies to generate a return (to the owners) even though the Cost to produce is greater than the revenue/returns. This is a house of cards and these folks will walk away with the cash and the debt and the waste will be all that is left when they declare bankruptcy,
          I have not noticed a significant drop in oil prices, but have seen a drop in the price of natural gas, which has spawned new competition to our electricity provider

          • Guang Xiang

            We manufacture derivatives of oil starting from ethylene and propylene so we don’t need to touch the actual extraction of oil from shale. I suppose our team figure that with recent advancement in feasible fracking methods in the US, we’ll be able to procure cheaper petroleum derivatives while also being logistically situated for freight in the US. Then again, I hear management might take a step back and settle for joint venture perhaps after some reevaluation.

          • Foreign Devil

            China recently scaled back their fracking plans by a lot. . citing the seismic danger it produces. . especially since most of their shale oil is in the Sichuan Basin which is a seismic active area.

      • Albert Einstein

        Are you sure that Global Warming isn’t the cause?

        • How would “global warming” impact seismic activity?

          • ClausRasmussen

            While it is difficult to find a source on the Internet that is not somehow affiliated with IPCC, it is plausible even from a layman’s perspective that the heating of the oceans and the meeting ice sheets move a lot of mass around

          • If you fill a glass with ice and then top it off with water, the volume remains the same when the ice melts. The water does not pour out of the glass when the ice melts.

          • ClausRasmussen

            I’ve edited my comment so that “ice sheets” (ice floating on water) now reads “ice caps” (ice on solid ground)

            Heating of the oceans also expands the volume of the water. Water expands only slightly when heated, but there is a LOT of water in the seas so it adds up

            The earth have had more seismic activity than usual in the last decade and it seems to correlate with rising temperatures. That is of course not a proof of causality, but the connection is plausible

          • Kai

            I hope I’m not nitpicking obnoxiously here because I’m only intending to nitpick humorously, but technically, shouldn’t the volume go down instead of remaining the same? The volume of water expands when it becomes ice, so when the ice melts, the water not only shouldn’t pour out of that glass but the water level may actually be lower (or not? depending on how much of the ice was above the water level/surface beforehand?).

            That said, global warming should result in rising sea levels because (and this is oversimplified) not all the ice is “inside the glass” with the water already.

          • ClausRasmussen

            You forgot Archimedes: To stay afloat in water 1 kg of ice will displace 1 liter of water, which happens to be the volume of the ice when melted

            (you’re an American, right?)

            In reality melting icebergs cause a minimal increase in sea levels because oceanic salt water is denser than fresh water ice, but that effect is usually considered marginal

          • Kai

            LoL, yeah, I’m an American. I feel like I should be blushing. While I recognize the name Archimedes, I didn’t know the whole 1kg ice = 1 liter of water displacement thing. For my comment, I was remembering that water is one of the few things that expands in volume when it freezes.

          • ClausRasmussen

            >> yeah, I’m an American

            Thank you for confirming one of my favourite stereotypes lol

          • Kai

            LoL, which stereotype? I’m praying it’s the “goddamn Americans don’t know Archimedes” one instead of the “Americans are ignorant” one. *please please please*

          • ClausRasmussen

            No, the Americans-don’t-do-metrics stereotype :-)

            The metric system is based on the properties of water, so you get the ice/water thing for almost free

            Imperial units often make Americans f*ck up simple physics like the volume of melting ice or slamming an expensive satellite into Mars: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter

          • Kai

            Ah, yeah, the United States really need to get with the program on that one. The only people we can make fun of with regards to weights and measures are the British (“stones”) and while we all have a good laugh about it, we really aren’t one to talk.

            I’ve actually managed to get a wee bit better with the metric system after all my time in China, but I still use crutches like 100kph = ~62mph (I’m a car guy). Sigh.

          • David

            lol yea we Americans are so bad at physics, in science in general. That is why since 2000 Americans have won 21 of the 37 Nobel prizes awarded in physics. We also suck at chemistry, 22 of the 33 Nobel prizes awarded, Medicine (not too much science there), 18 of the 33 Nobel prizes and lets not forget the science of economic, 27 of the 30 Nobel prizes awarded. .

          • mr.wiener

            lowering or raising the water table probably doesn’t help.

      • mr.wiener

        My dad is still a farmer at heart. He and the magority of famers in Oz are dead against fracking. The first company that tries it in Australia will be in very deep shit.

        • bprichard

          Good, fracking is just a disaster waiting to happen, both in terms of natural disasters and ground water pollution.

          • David

            And yet numerous studies by universities and even the EPA have not determined that. I don’t work for any oil company so I don’t have any direct dog (and am not a geologist) in the fight, but I do like to base my beliefs on proven science. As far as I know, the matter is still up in the air as far as definitive proof one way of the other goes. but in the absence of strong evidence to the contrary I tend to lean toward letting them do it. While continuing the studies.

          • Gerhana

            isnt it better to do the study first before letting them do it, because by the time you find evidence that it is not good, it might be too late?

          • David

            there have been many studies done in the last 20 years and none have shown any problems. I do believe in caution but at what point do you say “hey, maybe it is not too bad” when there is a great need for energy and jobs?.

      • Kai

        Random comment: I still associate “fracking” with Battlestar Gallactica.

  • Kai

    Saw a friend post about this on Facebook last night right after it happened. I actually didn’t think much of it because earthquakes are always happening in California. Unless a crack opens up and we’re falling into it, the extent of our attention stops at mentioning what we felt and checking if others felt it too.

    The damage in Napa looks a bit worse than I expected for a 6.0, but I think a lot of Californians have somewhat distorted notions about earthquakes.

    I still remember watching the ’89 SF earthquake on TV from LA. Most poignant was the collapsing of the Bay Bridge deck and reporters describing how cars had been flattened as thin as a dime. It was pretty disturbing imagery, and always something I thought of whenever I drove across the Bay Bridge regularly about a decade later.

    • mr.wiener

      I saw all those wine bottles that had fallen off the shelves…Oh, the humanity!!

  • AG

    Casualty number is function of population density, buidking quality, and prevalence of causious personality.

  • Frank Lloyd Wright is well known for the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, which survived the 1923 quake that leveled the city and killed 1000,000+. Even though his design was flawed in some ways, the building survived and techniques used today adopted some of his design concepts (specifically, letting the building float, avoiding the transfer of that energy into the building)
    Architects and engineers have learned from these disasters and standardize construction techniques that were once revolutionary, which helps to improve performance and bring cost down.
    Cost of construction definitely increases, but the buildings won’t look like they are 200 years old when they are 40 and Concrete and mud construction doesn’t fair too well in an earthquake.
    China needs to start revising (and enforcing) building codes, pollution standards and much more for the benefit of their society.

    • ClausRasmussen

      >> China needs to start revising (and enforcing) building codes

      Easier said than done when the people living in the last earthquake zone was dirt poor farmers.

      You better first focus on increasing their income. Simple self perseverance (and a bit of education) will then take care of the rest.

      In the meantime China could definitely improve the rescue effort when disaster do strike. They seem completely overwhelmed every time

      • Jahar

        I don’t know what it’s like there, I live in Wuhan. Here only developers are allowed to build anything other than a shanty, which the migrant workers usually live in(and i think are built illegally).

        • ClausRasmussen

          I know the standards are reasonable high in the cities, but how about the country side? I can’t imagine they’re enforcing the same rules there

          And what about houses built before the regulations was introduced?

          • Jahar

            Can there really be that many?

          • ClausRasmussen

            Almost 50 percent of China’s population still lives in the country side

          • Jahar

            yeah, but do they get to build their own houses?

          • I know of several people in China who have given up on the “dream” of city life and Higher pay and moved back to their home towns, which are tiny in comparison.
            The wages they were earning did not provide for an adequate standard of living so they decided to go back and be with their family.
            When I first met them, they were all about the money, “have to make money”, but they realized they are at the end of the Ponzi scheme and decided they aren’t going to play their game.

          • lacompacida

            Big cities doesn’t mean high quality of life.

          • lacompacida

            There are only 130 million migrant workers in China, just a drop in the bucket.

          • lacompacida

            The standards are high. The enforcement non-existent.

          • Cogitans Iuvenis

            I work in construction management so here is what I know and have heard from long time workers.

            Building codes are pretty much uniformly enforced whether or not you build in a rural or urban environment. No one wants to be responsible for building/owning shoddy buildings that result in people dying.

            As for houses built before regulation, most old American houses are actually quite sturdy, more so even than new construction, if they have been properly maintained.

        • lacompacida

          The shanties are quite safe in an earth quake. The roofs are quite light.

      • lacompacida

        Officials don’t get money for enforcing codes. Allowing people to violate codes worth way more money in the pocket.

    • hailexiao

      The problem is that solid masonry of any kind, whether unreinforced concrete, brick or mud is terrible in an earthquake. Buildings framed out of flexible materials such as wood or steel do much better. Unfortunately wood and steel are expensive in China while mud and limestone are cheap, so safe residences are out of reach of many people. I wonder if the government could put in some R&D into bamboo forestry and bamboo framed houses to replace those made of mud, brick, or unreinforced concrete.

  • I remember my first earthquake very well (1999 – 7.2 with the epicenter only 30 miles away). I was in Big Bear Lake, CA when the ground started moving, felt like when you first step on a moving sidewalk, slow side to side movement.

    It was over after only a few seconds, no time to react or think about it until it was over. No damage. My host confirmed, “That was an earthquake”

  • vonskippy

    “Why is a degenerate capitalist country better than superior socialist countries in everything?”

    It’s the difference between having REAL Engineers and having people who (poorly) copy what real engineers do.

    • SongYii

      many chinese (and overwhelmingly their media) have pointed out to me the enormous engineering projects that have been successful here, and they are incredulous when I tell them much of it is designed and built by companies from european and north american countries.

    • Foreign Devil

      Who are the engineers behind the Shanghai tower? I was watching an Autodesk video about the software they are using. and it seemed to be all Chinese involved in the design.

      • lacompacida

        Autodesk software checks all structural quality of the building automatically.

        • vonskippy

          Um…no, it does NOT.

          • lacompacida

            Structural analysis and finite element analysis had been in the product of decades.

          • vonskippy

            That means it checks to see if the corners meet, or if a bolt will go thru a pane of glass, NOT that it will withstand a 6.0 earthquake (although there is software that will check that).

        • Foreign Devil

          The software was Autodesk Revit. . which does do a lot of analysis. Unfortunately it costs like 13K to buy the program.

      • vonskippy

        Shanghai tower was designed by Gensier & Associates based in San Francisco (Gensier was born in NY).

        • lacompacida

          Aren’t SF a Chinese city ? Must be. There was a Chinese map with with SF on it a hundred years ago.

          • vonskippy

            Lol – I think it was labeled Very Far East China on that map.

      • Kai

        You mean the Oriental Pearl Tower? I think that was a homegrown design.

    • lacompacida

      Most engineers in China are real. But they must practice in compliance with the wishes of the Party. When a top rocket scientist was told to support the huge per acre productivity of grain during 1959 to 1962, he wrote a paper in support of that possibility.

    • cloud9

      It’s more about ethics as a professional.

    • hailexiao

      China has plenty of real engineers, but they generally don’t work on your average apartment block.

      • vonskippy

        Why on earth not? If China has “plenty of real engineers”, why aren’t they doing their jobs? China does NOT have plenty of real engineers, they have a bunch of wanna-be engineers that copy what real engineers do and call it good enough. This earthquake shows you what good-enough gets you. China loves to think they’re a 1st world nation -they’re not. Civil engineering, healthcare, government corruption, food safety, manufacture safety, workplace safety, laws – both personal and business, etc. etc. etc all point to a child with more money then brains.

        • Kai

          Most of the buildings that collapsed in the Yunnan earthquake were not engineered by “engineers”. They were built by peasants who have no formal education or training in engineering or construction but have enough skills to provide a service affordable enough for other peasants that is good enough 99% of the time.

          China does have “plenty” of real engineers. It also has a lot of bad engineers, copycats, and corner-cutting done to save money and maximize profits. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

          I don’t think China “loves to think they’re a 1st world nation”. They’re vocal about aspiring to become one and they’re proud that some parts of it are starting to look it. However, there is no significantly meaningful amount of Chinese people who genuinely think they are. You attacked a straw man there.

  • Dax

    “San Francisco is the city with the second highest proportion of ethnic Chinese (first is Toronto). Shouldn’t we first express some concern for these ethnic Chinese? ”

    Yes, because people who don’t look like you matter less.

    • Brido227

      “Because people who don’t look like you matter less” beautifully ironic, given the country under discussion and its attitude to collateral damage. You have a gift.

    • ric

      duh

    • Kai

      LoL, yeah, that comes across as an irksome comment. It’s possible it just didn’t come across well, as in the person inadvertently put their foot in their mouth poorly communicating what he’s really trying to say. [Edit: I want to make this clear because it comes across in a similar way in the original Chinese, so it isn’t just a translation issue apart from the “these”.]

      I suspect the commenter is replying to comments bashing the United States by trying to appeal to their prejudiced sympathies for their own by pointing out there are Chinese people there. It’ll work on some but the more hardcore US-bashers (or Chinese hypernationalists) would dismiss those Chinese people in America as traitors not deserving of their sympathies. Logic was never their strong suit.

      Anyway, there’s a good chance this commenter didn’t intend to suggest that non-Chinese don’t deserve concern and was just trying to guilt-trip some of the people who were making objectionable comments. The commenter itemized his thoughts and it’s arguable that he’s trying to be as fair as he can. Notice how his #3 takes on those who he thinks are making unfair comparisons overly criticizing the Yunnan earthquake.

    • Foreign Devil

      I would dispute that factoid anyways. I’m pretty sure Vancouver has more Chinese per capita than either Toronto or San Fran. Though Toronto has no shortage of Chinese. 1/3 of real estate purchases in Vancouver have links to mainland China. Which explains the absurd price of real estate there.

      • lacompacida

        1/3 purchased in recent years, but not 1/3 owned.

        • Dick Leigh

          And Chinese generally buy luxury single-family properties, not condos with strata fees.

  • SongYii

    ‘Additionally, San Francisco is an area with a lot of earthquakes, prohibiting the construction of too many high-rise buildings.’ This is 100% false.

    ‘If you fenqing dislike your own country this much, you can figure out a way to get lost off to America. No one is stopping you.’ Also false. From what I’ve learned, most Chinese are not granted passports on request, and visas to other countries can be denied from the China side.

    • bprichard

      Yup! Building tall buildings is just a matter of using the correct resonance frequency so that they’ll sway like crazy and not break during earthquakes. Japan is just as (probably more earthquake prone) than the Bay Area. And they don’t lack tall buildings. They just engineer them properly.

    • Kai

      What’s your source for “most Chinese are not granted passports on request”? I haven’t heard of any Chinese not being granted a passport when they apply for one, just like in other countries. People aren’t born with one, they usually get them the first time they want to travel abroad.

      I’m also unfamiliar with China being able to prevent other countries from granting visas to its citizens for travel to those other countries. The only possible way I can imagine is that the Chinese government persuades the other country’s government to not grant the visa. I don’t think China can unilaterally deny visas because they are granted at the discretion of another country. What China CAN do is stop you at customs and prevent you from leaving the country. Every country can do this.

      • Jahar

        Talk to any nuclear physicist, I’m sure they can tell u it’s not easy to get a passport. I also have a student who tells me foreigners are not allowed in her home town, and she can’t tell me why. I doubt the workers there have an easy time getting a passport.

        • narsfweasels

          Brother in law is a policeman = not allowed to leave China.

          Good friend was a senior manager at Ping’An Insurance = Not allowed to leave China unaccompanied.

          • Kai

            Interesting. I have a friend who is a police officer and he went abroad just fine. Another friend is the CEO of an insurance company and she travels all over the world.

          • narsfweasels

            Interesting.

        • Kai

          I don’t personally know of any nuclear physicists. Do you know of some that have said its hard for them to get passports? Are you talking about nuclear physicists in general or just Chinese nuclear physicists?

          Foreigners aren’t allowed in a lot of places in China. Unless they’re ad hoc (temporary) bans like during the Tibet riots a few years ago, it’s usually because there’s a military installation nearby. That said, I haven’t really heard of any significant number of Chinese or group of Chinese people being unable to get passports. I think we need more information.

          SongYii JUST replied so lemme see what he has to say.

          • Jahar

            I think getting solid info on something like that here would be next to impossible, especially considering what happened to that british couple. jail for gathering not secret information.

      • SongYii

        I lived in a suburb of Shenyang where a lot of not poor but not quite middle class people lived. The foreign teachers ate at their restaurants, and.we made friends with many. One night we were talking about whether they would want to visit Europe, and they told us most Chinese people cant get passports without the proper connections. Switching over to English, we assumed its because if anyone could get a passport, people would be leaving China enmasse. Maybe what they told us is wrong or exaggerated.

        In any case, I feel confident the commenter is wrong… there is plenty stopping most people from leaving, if not legal restrictions.

        • Kai

          Well, the leaving en masse assumption doesn’t make sense cuz just having a passport doesn’t mean you can get into other countries. Without a visa to your destination, you pretty much can’t even get on any ordinary transportation crossing a border. You can probably see that in retrospect.

          I’ve casually asked around after your post and the responses I’ve got all expressed that passports are pretty simple to get. The only reason anyone has given me about why the government might not give a passport is perhaps if you’ve broken the law or have a serious criminal record.

          Referring to what Jahar said, I can imagine the government scrutinizing travel plans by certain people, but that’s still very different from not giving them passports.

          About the commenter being wrong, I’m gonna go ahead and disagree. For the vast majority of Chinese people, I really don’t think there is anyone stopping them from emigrating abroad as long as they can afford to do so and secure the visas and immigration processes involved. We can say not having enough money or not qualifying for visas is “stopping” them, but that’s not really anyone in specific stopping them. That’s “circumstance” instead of someone consciously restricting their movement. So yeah, there could be plenty of things stopping someone from leaving, but to say he’s wrong, we’d have to point to there being SOMEONE actually stopping them, not just circumstance.

          • SongYii

            how about the circumstances of low social mobilty imposed by laws made by and corruption commited by someone(s)? youre talking about a place that still uses the hukou system, as i understand it, to regulate where people live within the country, however selectively enforced. its not a big leap to wonder whether there are unofficial rules in place to regulate emigration. but the US’s absurd immigration policy obscures the source of difficulties at least to that particular major destination.

            passports arent a ticket out, but its a first step, which is where the assumption that people would leave enmasse came from, but at the time, it was just the easiest explanation at hand.

            nonetheless, im skeptical about what the commenter said.

          • Kai

            how about the circumstances of low social mobilty imposed by laws made by and corruption commited by someone(s)?

            That argument could be applied everywhere so it isn’t very useful. That’s like saying white society is preventing black Americans from going abroad. Sure, you can argue a chain of causality but its too indirect to justify a disagreement with the “no one is stopping you” in the Chinese netizen’s comment.

            youre talking about a place that still uses the hukou system, as i understand it, to regulate where people live within the country, however selectively enforced. its not a big leap to wonder whether there are unofficial rules in place to regulate emigration.

            I kinda think it is too big of a leap. That’s like arguing someone has broken this law because they’ve broken that law. There needs to be more direct evidence to make the claim.

            In this case, your direct evidence was what you were apparently told by people before. It’s hearsay, but it is still your direct evidence for the claim you made.

            It just doesn’t seem to be accurate as far as I can tell with regards to the vast majority of people.

            nonetheless, im skeptical about what the commenter said.

            That’s fine, as long as you understand why I don’t feel you have any compelling evidence to support your skepticism. To reiterate, I don’t think there’s really an issue of “anyone” stopping the vast majority of people from leaving China if another country is willing to take them and they have the means to get there. The biggest thing stopping the vast majority of people is circumstance, meaning other countries aren’t willing to take them and/or they don’t have the means to get there.

            Finally, “no one is stopping you” is hardly the most irksome aspect of that guy’s comment to me. That part is reasonably true to me. What isn’t reasonably true is that the people he is referring to are necessarily fenqing, that they dislike their country “that much”, and thus should “get lost off to America”. Those are the things I’d object to before “no one is stopping you”.

          • SongYii

            Eh, I just don’t buy that. American history can point to scores and scores of people born into poverty who went on to become fabulously, stinkingly successful, and millions more who went from little to more than enough. How many Party and business leaders came from little or nothing in China?

            I know what you’ll say “Well, doo doo doo, China is so successful in the past 35 years. Hundreds of millions have moved to the middle class” But thats because their system became much more like that of the West.

            Where it has stayed the same, it has left people without the option to move freely about, in terms of economics, geography, and certainly political power.

            I concede that my evidence is entirely anecdotal, but this is the CS forum, not the BBC. So, don’t take too seriously. :-)

          • Kai

            I’m a bit confused by what you mean by “I just don’t buy that” in your first paragraph. What aren’t you buying?

            I think that might help me understand what you’re saying in the second and third paragraphs as well.

            I actually thought we were pretty close to mutual understanding. If it helps, let me reiterate my position:

            In your original comment, you disagreed with a Chinese netizen’s comment that “no one is stopping” people dissatisfied with China from leaving China.

            To support this disagreement, you said “most Chinese are not granted passports on request, and visas to other countries can be denied from the China side.”

            This didn’t jive with what I know, so I asked you for what led you to believe and claim these things.

            You replied that you had heard it from some Chinese teachers but that maybe what they told you was <a href="wrong or exaggerated. You then went to say you still felt the commenter was wrong, that maybe there are not legal restrictions but there are plenty of other things “stopping most people from leaving”.

            At that point in the conversation, can we agree that your original claim that “most Chinese are not granted passports on request, and visas to other countries can be denied from the China side” was not substantiated? If so, then my original disagreement with you can be put to rest amicably.

            The conversation continues because you feel the commenter was still wrong for saying “no one is stopping you”. I understood you as acknwoledging your original claims for disagreement to be wrong but you still feel there are “people stopping” most Chinese from leaving.

            To this, I disagreed. My reason is because most people who want to leave but aren’t able to can’t because of “circumstance”, meaning other countries won’t take them or they can’t afford to emigrate. I don’t feel the predominant reason is because there are Chinese “people stopping” them in any direct way (like not granting them passports, or somehow forcing other countries to deny them visas). I feel this is a pretty easy-to-understand and hard-to-deny position that reflects the reality around us that we can see and read about every day.

            When you point to American rags-to-riches stories as well as among Chinese who are Party members or business leaders, I see this as reinforcing my position about circumstance being the predominant determining factor in what allows people to emigrate if they want to. These people achieved the means to emigrate. It’s not like they killed the person who was previously stopping them. No one was previously stopping them, they just didn’t have the means.

            The reason why I don’t understand your second and third paragraphs is because you seem to be guessing what I’d say, and what you think I’d say is probably based on a position you think I hold. The problem is, I don’t know what this position is that you think I hold, so the words you think I’m going to say doesn’t resonate with me. I don’t get why you think that would be my response to your first paragraph.

            So yeah, I’m confused. At this point, all I care about is that we agree that your original claim was not substantiated and that “circumstance” is the predominant thing stopping Chinese people who want to leave China from leaving China rather than any specific people consciously and unilaterally directly stopping them. I’d like to think we agree on these two issues.

            As for your fourth paragraph, I’m not taking your anecdotal evidence “too seriously”. I was just saying you made a claim and you did have evidence to back it up. I was acknowledging that being better than making a claim without any evidence at all! :) We both recognize it as anecdotal and hearsay, and that it doesn’t quite jive with what I know. As a result, it’s evidence but it isn’t subjectively “compelling” to me as far as substantiating your claim. Are you following me?

            It’s like me saying the sky is red, someone told me so, and you saying “well, it looks blue to me, others have said it is blue, and books say it is blue too, so while you do have a reason for saying the sky is red, I hope you won’t mind if I say your claim and the evidence for that claim isn’t compelling to me.”

            Because that is essentially the situation.

            Lastly, in my experience, I actually think the comments on cS are often more serious than those on the BBC, or at least when it comes to issues about China, they’re often more insightful! (Don’t get me wrong, I like the BBC well enough in general, but the quality of the average comment tends to correlate inversely with the size of a website’s audience).

          • SongYii

            I don’t buy that an indirect causation is not relevant. The circumstances don’t occur in a vacuum, its largely a result of the political system.

            It’s not really important, bored with this thread now…

          • Kai

            I hope I didn’t say I think indirect causation is completely irrelevent. I just meant that I don’t see the relevance (and its uniqueness to China) being significant enough to be a useful argumentative point.

            I will however entertain the notion that Cold War history with China being a “communist” and “non-democratic” country has historically shaped visa policies between it and countries on the other side of the Cold War dichotomy! I think that’s an interesting avenue of thought. China’s politics at that time was indeed a consideration for other countries granting visas, at least more so than it is now. However, I think visa policies concerning China then and now are still more shaped by concerns of preventing illegal immigration and limiting the amount of legal immigration. Countries are more worried about an influx of Chinese immigrants taxing their welfare systems than they are about Chinese commies, both then and now. That’s my initial thought in response to “largely a result of the political system”.

            Anyway, thanks for explaining what you meant. No worries if you aren’t interested in further discussion. I just wanted to be sure I understood what you were trying to say.

          • vincent_t

            “But thats because their system became much more like that of the West.”

            They are moving from Communism to Capitalism. Both system originated from the West. Just saying.

          • SongYii

            Of course, I’m talking about NOW. ;)

      • SongYii

        Seeing the other replies to your comment reminds me that I taught children of people who worked at the air force base in Shenyang as well. They told me directly they could not leave China without special permission, which was difficult to get and involved traveling WITHOUT their families.

        • Kai

          That sounds plausible. There may be legimtiate fears that they can smuggle out information about the base. Preenting the entire family from going out together does ensure that there is leverage against espionage or “defection”.

      • lacompacida

        98% of Chinese don’t have a passport. Even if you get a visa from a foreign country, and even a passport from Chinese authorities, you can still be barred from leaving the country. You can be stopped from leaving China even if you get on a plane.

        • Kai

          Aside from the 98% part, didn’t you just say what I said?

      • David

        Well, I don’t know the law but the only ones of my Chinese friends who have gotten visas to travel to other countries have had to show they have money in the bank (between 50,000-90,000 RMB). So only my friends with money have been able to leave the country. The few poorer friends I have (well, more middle class), who could not show they had this money in their accounts could not get a visa (which seems weird to me because I thought you only needed the visa from the country you are going to). I offered to take a friend of mine to Thailand when I go to visit my wife in January and he told me he could not get a visa t leave China, even though I offered to pay for the trip. I realize this is anecdotal, perhaps other people can be more exacting as far as the law goes.

        • Kai

          Before other countries grant a tourist visa, they often require you to demonstrate that you have ties to your country that will predispose you to returning to China. This is most easily proven by demonstrating stable employment and domestic assets “showing money in the bank”). These requirements are from the country you’re applying to, not China itself. Then only thing you need to get from China is your passport, which is pretty much just a simple paper application. There is no requirement from China that you demonstrate domestic ssets.

          I think your friend is saying he couldn’t get a visa to Thailand. There’s no visa for “leaving China”. If your friend works in a sensitive industry, I suppose there might be some legal restrictions (but usually just scrutiny) on his travel, but demonstrating domestic assets is done for the country issuing the visa, not China. Hope this helps. Cheers.

          • David

            I understand what you are saying and I can not really argue with it because all I have is what people tell me, which is far from evidence, this is why I am bringing up the questions to see if others who have more experience can. I have never had anybody tell me France required them to show they have money in the bank before being given a visa (or any foreign country, some simply require you have a return ticket). I have only been told by Chinese people that CHINA would not allow them to leave the country unless they showed they have X amount of RMB in the bank (amounts varied) One of my Chinese friend said he had to ‘borrow’ 50,000 from his parents and keep it in his account for three months before submitting three months of account records to whatever agency does this) before he was allowed to leave China to visit Korea. I have traveled around the world a lot and never had to show any kind of financial security at any country whether a visa was needed or not so I don’t think most countries do this.

          • Kai

            You’re an American like me, right? Most countries don’t fear us illegally immigranting into their countries so they don’t require us to demonstrate financial ties to our home country. They do have a fear for Chinese.visitors though.

            Here’s something dispositive that I found with a quick search:

            http://www.thebeijinger.com/blog/2010/08/11/you-think-getting-china-visa-hassle

            Here’s some general US-specific info:

            http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visitor.html#documentation

          • David

            Thanks.

        • SongYii

          Unmarried women have a very difficult time getting visas to the United States. I’m not sure how that flies with other countries. However, this doesn’t have anything to do with Chinese laws or regulations.

          • David

            What does it have to do with?

          • SongYii

            Visa issuance. Isn’t that what we’re talking about? You mentioned having a healthy bank account is necessary, I’m adding that unmarried Chinese women have a hell of a time getting visas, at least to the U.S., because of U.S. laws and regulations. Same page?

          • Rick in China

            There are lots of categories for lots of reasons. You’re right that unmarried Chinese women have a hard time getting visas to many countries. What I think Kai is fully correct about is the Chinese government will issue anyone a passport that applies – but, not necessarily grant them exit permission to leave China, even if the other country has granted them a visa. I think, though, the people who the government wont let leave, typically wont get a visa in another country.

          • SongYii

            notable exception: political dissidents!

      • moop

        There is also a history of not being allowed to board flights to passengers without visas to their destination despite said country offering visa on arrival for chinese citizens

        • Kai

          Is there? That sounds like it could’ve just been a mistake by whoever is doing the check-in procedures rather than government policy. There are precious few countries that offer Chinese citizens visas on arrival as it is. I wouldn’t be surprised if the person doing the check-in procedures simply assumed they needed to see a visa in the passport before checking them in.

  • Can’t we all just love
    I love you

    • b duck

      ????
      you just suck too much sake???

  • lacompacida

    “while China’s buildings are almost all brick construction, so casualties will naturally be higher.” Does that mean either Chinese have not experienced earthquakes before so that they chose brick as building material ?

    • SongYii

      well lets be realistic. the bay area has had the advantage of nearly 150 years of seismic activity. the middle kingdom has only a paltry 5000 years. they are still developing.

      • Kai

        Oh come on, you’re being disingenuous and mean-spirited with this comment. You know enough to know why China isn’t yet able to have the same norms as the US. You know how history has shaped it and often set it back. All human society has been around for essentially the same amount of time. You’re basically making fun of the poor, disadvantaged kid for not having higher standards in life than the rich, privileged kid as if it was 100% his own fault. I know you’re probably (hopefully) just making a joke, but surely you recognize it as being petty, right? This is as disingenuous and unfair as saying the US took less time to institute democracy than England or France did.

        • SongYii

          Oh, yeah, I meant ALL THAT with a silly comment. :-D

          • Kai

            Sorry to be a party pooper, some jokes about China have just become too cliche and shallow for me.

          • b duck

            you should translate more new posts, not reply here too much!
            hahaha!

          • SongYii

            you mean like the shallow, cliched comments translated for most of the stories that run on this site?

          • Kai

            Yes, a lot of the Chinese netizen comments are irksome to me too. The thing is, those comments are translated for this site because of this site’s editorial mission.

          • SongYii

            the mission is to translate trite, predictable responses from the public?

            mission:accomplished

          • Kai

            Wow, Sean, so in your anger with ME not finding your joke rip-roaringly hilarious, you’re going full-tilt attacking the entire site, which you have consistently kept coming back to for years despite how “trite and predictable” the content is?

            Oookay. I hurt your feelings and now you’re trying to hurt my feelings too by dissing a site I am part of. I disagreed with the logic in your joke and your retribution is to put down the work I am partially associated with. I suppose that’s fair and I supposed I should’ve seen it coming. My bad.

          • SongYii

            You put down my comment first, dick.

          • Kai

            Yes, I know, which is why regardless of what I think are my valid reasons for finding your joke disagreeable, I still quickly said I was sorry for being a party-pooper.

            I get why people still find such jokes funny or even poignant, and that’s why I tried presenting why the logic of the joke actually isn’t very fair by presenting the logic in different analogies. I recognize I may have been a bit harsh off the bat. Because you’re a long-time commenter here, I thought you could take it and understand I wasn’t trying to be personal despite being critical of the joke. You initially handled it well enough with your sarcastic but smiley-faced retort, I counted my lucky stars, and I apologized for being that party-pooper. You then lashed back at the site instead of me, and I played defense.

            I hope you can accept this characterization of how our conversation unfolded.

          • SongYii

            Oh, please. I was on the defense the entire thread. I made a harmless, silly comment and you picked a fight with me. Even in your apology, you called me cliched and shallow. These boards are filled with jabs at China like mine, and I’m the one you picked on. You must like me a lot. :-D

          • Kai

            The point of my disagreement with you was that I don’t think the comment is “harmless”. I think the basis of the joke is unfair and illustrated how it is by using analogies. I understand you think it is a silly comment, but that doesn’t mean it is to others.

            To be fair, I called the joke “cliche and shallow”. To also be fair, I did say you were being “disingenuous and mean-spirited”. I went on to explain why, because I feel you have enough education and knowledge to know why the crux of your joke isn’t actually fair.

            You have been on here for years. I may not pick on every jab at China but I do pick on a lot of them, and most of them aren’t by you. You aren’t being singled out. Regardless, I still apologize for coming on too strong. Like I said, I thought you as a long-timer would better understand my inflection.

          • SongYii

            well, try not to take things too seriously, brudder. :)

    • hailexiao

      It means that brick and (unreinforced) concrete, although seismically weak, are still the preferred materials for construction in China because of low cost.

      The most seismically resistant buildings are framed out of a flexible material such as wood or steel. China has serious deforestation problems so wood isn’t a valid choice in most places. Steel is too expensive for the average farmer or urban worker. Limestone for concrete and clay for brick are plentiful and cheap, so they get used, even though they are terrible at resisting shear and tensile stresses and so crack and split when an earthquake hits. In a typical Japanese or Californian earthquake, reinforced concrete, steel frame and wood frame buildings are generally fine (except for wood frame houses with ground floor garages, a stupid but common design in SF) while solid masonry shatters and falls down on the streets.

  • David

    awww I see, so if you can’t sleep on and drink the surface water at an industrial sight it is bad. Have you see how many birds are killed by wind turbines? Does that mean we need to stop using them? ANY factory has dirty ground around it, Have you been in an alley of the average city? Would you camp out and drink the water there? No. That is why there are environmental scientists who actually know what they are doing and looking for that do the tests, not you or me.

    • Rick in China

      Bullshit. The environmental scientists who look at the data are the ones who are against it. The ones who come to inconclusive conclusions (and much of the EPA) is funded /bought/revolving door’d by the same companies responsible for the fracking itself, so I don’t know how you can be so quick to simply fall in line with the corporate line of “it’s inconclusive” meanwhile cancer rates and flammable tap water continues to be an obvious visual issue in the areas that it is actually happening.

      Here’s proof in the pudding: Fracking boss says “put up all the fracking wells you can everywhere. There is no harm.” — another company tries putting one up near his home, he takes them to court, wins – does NOT want any fracking near HIS home. That happened.

      • David

        I guess it begins with me not being cynical about scientists being “bought and paid for” by the oil companies. The EPA is NOT a friend of big oil, quiet the opposite. But I am not a rep for big oil so I won’t defend them.

        • Rick in China

          When the Koch brothers fund studies on the pitfalls of fracking, you’d imagine their findings would be something along the lines of “We find no conclusive evidence to support that fracking poses any measurable harm to the environment or those who live within the fracked area.”

          Koch brothers fund a lot of research. And own several research groups/think tanks that come up with these great conclusions. :D

  • hailexiao

    “4. Whether it is the epicenter or San Francisco, there have already been multiple incidents of smashing-and-looting and intentional criminal behavior at supermarkets and shopping centers, with armed United States National Guard responding.”

    Is s/he talking about Ferguson or SF?

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