Power And Dollar

Is Earthquake An Environmental Crisis Too?

The earthquake in China will certainly have a death toll of over 10,000.  This quake can be felt as far as Taiwan and Thailand.  UN aid relief agencies have very limited roles in China.  Most charities still rely on Hong Kong to work with Chinese goverments.  Of all agencies, UNICEF has the best working relationships with China. 



Is this a man made disaster?


The epic center is 600 km away from the Three Gorges Dam, the largest in the world.  It holds 9.5 cubic miles of water (Denver is a mile high).  That amount of water is approximately equal to 40 million metric ton.  With that much weight sitting on a quake zone, it is very likely to alter the movements of the plates.  And if the weight is acting against the geological movements, it can induce more earthquakes than normal. 

There is precedence: Koyna Dam in India, earthquake in 1967.

The area is not a major economic centre, not a hot tourism spot, not a major manufacturing site.  The immediate economic damage is well contained.  Shanghai index may get affected.  However, Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong is more reliable to measure the magnitude of the problem.

The reaction will be a much greater challenge to the government.  It will measure the maturity of emergency response team in China.  How is China’s FEMA doing?  How will the local financial system, at the county level, sustain the resources exchange?  How does China recover the transportation system?  It now seems the snow storms earlier this year were more like a preparation exercise for all the troubles China is now facing. 


Will China use this opportunity to divert more resources to Tibetan areas and score more points?  Will Dalai Lama be able to make a stronger case for his involvement / return to heal the wounds?


In the states, capitalism is blamed for the environmental crisis.  The opposite, i.e. communism, could be worse.  


May 12, 2008 - Posted by | China, Current Events, economics, environment, opinion, politics, Thoughts, Tibet, wordpress-political-blogs

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