Wednesday, May 14, 2008

NPR's China earthquake coverage

NPR had a crew in Chengdu, the large city near the May 12 earthquake, when the earthquake struck. They have a recording of the earthquake itself (scroll down and look on the left side of the page for a link), and a blog with stories before they go on the air. (It's hard to read, as a parent - so many kids in schools, and left in apartment buildings with grandparents...) Back in the US, NPR interviewed USGS seismologist Lucy Jones about the earthquake (and how it was the same size as the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906).

It's good coverage - sensitive to the human tragedy and careful about describing the geology and engineering. And there are photos on the blog that give a sense of the topography - steep hillsides with one-lane dirt roads and thick vegetation. Difficult terrain to get through - it's easy to see why rescuers have only reached the epicenter today.


John Fleck said...

Thanks for the link. I have been astonished at their powerful coverage, and kept wondering how they got there so fast.

coconino said...

I listened to their coverage last night on the way home from the field. Their discussions with the village leader and the woman with her one-year-old by the side of the road brought tears to my eyes. As a parent, I cannot fathom what being in such devastation would be like and am thankful every day I am not in Southern California anymore. Thanks also for the link; I hadn't looked at it before now.

coconino said...

As an addendum, the noise of earthquakes has always fascinated me. I was in SoCal, in Santa Barbara when the Northridge eq struck. Before it hit, my dog jumped off the bed and started barking or growling (I don't remember which, but he was certainly agitated), then I heard a freight train-like rumble immediately before the shaking started. My father was working in the industrial West Seattle area (very close to the waterfront) when the rather large eq struck there in recent years. He said it sounded like a train engine was crashing right outside his building. My family doesn't have aural anecdotes from their Alaskan earthquake adventures, but certainly at least several physical sensation descriptions from the quakes they experienced there in the 50s. Finally, when the more recent Paso Robles eq hit, I was in a tall building in downtown LA, 5 months along with my child. Before it actually registered that it was an eq, I thought I was experiencing morning sickness again.