The collapse of a reservoir dam at Yueyang County of central China’s Hunan Province killed six and left one missing on Thursday, according to a county government source.
The tragedy occurred at about noon at Xiangsiyuan Reservoir, a tourist site that is under construction. At the time, students were playing in the reservoir and farmers were working nearby.
The dam suddenly collapsed, unleashing a torrent of water that drowned three students and three farmers. Another was still missing.
The 13.8 kilometer (8.6 mile) Yueyang relay, run by 168 torchbearers, started from Yueyang Tower and passed Yueyang Viewing Gate, Dongting North Road, Dongting Lake Rim, Yueyang Avenue, City Government Square, City Stadium and South Lake Square.
Banners in support of earthquake victims greeted the torch relay in Yueyang.
Yuan Longping, the 77-year-old “father of the hybrid rice,” started the run at Yueyang Tower on the banks of Dongting Lake.
Originally built in the Tang Dynasty, the tower became famous during the Northern Song Dynasty (960 to 1127) when it was rebuilt and counselor Fan Zhongyan wrote a poem about it.
The poem contains the famous line: “One should be the first to bear hardship, and the last to enjoy comfort.”
The line has been written on many banners lining the route of the relay in reference to the rebuilding efforts that are taking place in the quake-hit regions.
In the afternoon, the torch will go to Miluo, a county under Yueyang’s administration, about 68 miles away.
Miluo is the birth place of the Dragon Boat Festival for the Chinese, celebrated each year on the fifth day of the fifth month according to the lunar calendar.
The festival is to commemorate Qu Yuan (340-278 BC), minister of the State of Chu and one of China’s earliest poets.
Qu plunged into the Miluo River, clasping his arms around a large stone, after his proposal to defend the state was turned down and eventually conquered.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese officials announced Monday that the country’s strict one-child policy will make some exceptions for certain families affected by the devastating earthquake two weeks ago.
Families with a child who was killed, severely injured or disabled in the quake can obtain a certificate to have another child, the Chengdu Population and Family Planning Committee in the capital of hard-hit Sichuan province said.
China said the toll of dead and missing from last week’s powerful earthquake jumped to more than 80,000, while the government appealed Thursday for millions of tents to shelter homeless survivors.
The confirmed number of dead rose nearly 10,000 from the day before to 51,151, Cabinet spokesman Guo Weimin told a news conference. Another 29,328 people remained missing and nearly 300,000 were hurt in the May 12 quake centered in Sichuan province, he said.
I know that ‘life moves on’ for those on the other side of the world from this tragedy, it’s normal. I urge you to please continue to pray for China right now, this is still very much an open wound.
China said Thursday that over 50,000 people had likely died in the devastating earthquake that hit its southwest as time runs out to save survivors buried in the rubble of broken communities.
Experts said the search-and-rescue operation was entering its most crucial phase yet four days after the 7.9-magnitude quake struck, with the chances of finding survivors diminishing by the hour.
Early Friday state Xinhua news agency quoted Prime Minister Wen Jiabao saying the quake had been even more devastating than one in Tangshan in 1976 which claimed about 240,000 lives.
We encourage you to take some time with your family today to pray for the ‘survivors’ who are dealing with tragedy and despair that most of us can only imagine.
(CNN) – The sharp sound of firecrackers and the wails of grieving parents echoed Tuesday morning above Juyuan Middle School, where hundreds of students are still trapped 24 hours after a major earthquake in central China.
The firecrackers, a tradition to ward off evil spirits, sounded each time a child’s body was found, a reporter at the scene said.
One can only imagine the emptiness felt by those who’ve lost a love one with no hope for eternity. My heart aches for those moms and dads who are learning the terrible news about their child, with only one recourse – firecrackers…
The task of bringing the gospel to the lost is URGENT!
One of the worst earthquakes to hit China in three decades struck today (Monday) at 2:30 in the afternoon. The death toll is already in the thousands and is expected to rise sharply once the full extent of damage and casualties is assessed.
The 7.9-magnitude earthquake devastated a hilly region of small cities and towns in central China. The official Xinhua News Agency said 8,533 people died in Sichuan province and more than 200 others were killed in three other provinces and the mega-city of Chongqing.
The earthquake sent thousands of people rushing out of buildings and into the streets hundreds of miles away in Beijing and Shanghai. The temblor was felt as far away as Vietnam and Thailand.
The quake hit about 60 miles northwest of Chengdu — a city of 3.75 million — in the middle of the afternoon when classrooms and office towers were full. When it hit shortly before 2:30 p.m., the quake rumbled for nearly three minutes, witnesses said, driving people into the streets in panic.
The earthquake also rattled buildings in Beijing, some 930 miles to the north, less than three months before the Chinese capital was expected to be full of hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors for the Summer Olympics.
Skyscrapers swayed in Shanghai and in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, 100 miles off the southeastern Chinese coast. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The quake was felt as far away as the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, where some people hurried out of swaying office buildings and into the streets downtown. A building in the Thai capital of Bangkok also was evacuated after the quake was felt there.
The last serious earthquake in China was in 2003, when a 6.8-magnitude quake killed 268 people in Bachu county in the west of Xinjiang.
China’s deadliest earthquake in modern history struck the northeastern city of Tangshan on July 28, 1976, killing 240,000 people.
Please take some time to pray for all those involved in this most recent natural disaster.
News story from Hunan Province;
CHANGSHA, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) — Death toll has risen to 14 after a bridge collapsed Monday in central China’s Hunan Province, local police said on Tuesday.
A total of 22 injured in the collapse have been rushed to nearby hospitals. The reason of the accident is under investigation.
The bridge, which was under construction in Fenghuang county, collapsed at 4:40 p.m. on Monday, blocking the Fenghuang-Daxing highway, the police said.
They said Hunan Governor Zhou Qiang and Vice Governor Xu Xianping were on their way to the site.
Fenghuang, located in western part of central China’s Hunan Province, is a famous tourist site.
Earlier on the same day as the collapse, Chinese officials announced a program to repair and replace dangerous bridges across China, citing the bridge collapse in Minnesota as motivation for taking measures “before it’s too late.”
Please pray for those who have been impacted by this tragedy. Considering how close on the heals of the Minnesota bridge collapse this has happened, you should have no problems imagining how devastating this can be for those involved.
Often it is through the kindness and compassion showed by Christian friends, neighbors and even strangers during a tragedy such as this that draws some people to faith in Jesus Christ.