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RE: China EQ

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Worth adding: Sichuan earthquake lasted several minutes compared to Loma Prieta earthquake which lasted for 20 minutes. Both occurred at similar depths (18 km).
Suresh Acharya, S.E.

From: Andrew Kester, PE [mailto:akester(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 8:45 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: China EQ

It seems like the media is bored and has moved on to other news blurbs, but this is a major, major crisis.
Can you imagine an entire major US STATE being homeless?
Qingchuan is but one corner of a disaster area roughly the size of Kentucky. And its population accounts for just a fraction of an estimated 5.5 million people left homeless by the earthquake. The number of homes needed may go even higher, suggest some analysts, based on Beijing's announcement last week that some 15.5 million people have been "relocated" because of the quake - a number that the official Xinhua News Agency published without elaboration.
The next time someone asks you what you do as a structural engineer, or asks you why that is important, or busts your chops about overdesigning, or you yourself question all this seismic code stuff, keep in mind that we may not have the best system in the world...... But one of the best when compared to the rest of the world. (Borrowed a bit from Churchill there.)
We complain about high home insurance costs, and this is a major issue in Florida, but would you rather have Allstate or State Farm, or a central government in charge??
China: In a country that is still in transition from communism to capitalism - less than 5 percent of the population has property insurance, for example - the responsibility for rebuilding falls squarely on the government.
The death toll of China's May 12 earthquake increased by four overnight to 69,146 as of Tuesday noon, the State Council Information Office said.

A total of 374,072 people were injured and 17,516 others remained missing after the 8.0-magnitude quake that jolted southwestern Sichuan Province and neighboring regions about a month ago.

Hospitals had treated 95,252 injured people as of Tuesday noon, of whom 76,853 had been discharged and 15,802 were still being treated.
Compare that with the numbers for Loma Prieta, which happened in a densely populated part of California (I know it is apples and oranges and the China EQ was 8.0 and Loma Prieta was 6.9/7.1):
The Loma Prieta earthquake, also known as the Quake of '89 and the World Series Quake, was a major earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area of California on October 17, 1989 at 5:04 p.m. Caused by a slip along the San Andreas Fault, the earthquake lasted approximately 15 seconds and measured 6.9 on the moment magnitude scale (surface-wave magnitude 7.1).[1] The quake killed 67 people throughout northern California, injured 3,757 people and left some 8,000[2] to 12,000 people homeless.[3]
So think that you are saving lives or preventing injuries and death on a very large scale EVERY DAY, more than firefighters and doctors (God bless them too). Even if you do retail box or single story stuff, thousands of people a day may go in and out of your buildings.... So we should keep our collective heads up and be proud, and remind people how important our role in society really is...
Andrew Kester, P.E.
Principal/Project Manager
ADK Structural Engineering, PLLC
1510 E. Colonial Drive, Suite 301
Orlando, FL 32803