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Death Toll Is Rising...

It was only a short while ago I mentioned earthquake at my journal.  I was worried about the prospect of California getting hit by a 6.7 in the next 30 years.

Little did I know six days later, I would sit in front of my computer, crying over the lives lost due to the massive earthquake in China.

Goodness, a 7.9 magnitude on the Richter scale!

The last devastating one happened in China I recall was 1976's Tangshan earthquake.  Back then, over a quarter of a million people died in the disaster.  That was a 7.5 magnitude.

I remember all those years ago, as a kid living in Shanghai, when the news of the earthquake unfolded, I was deeply affected by the fact thousands of children lost their parents.  Today, it's the news of those 1000 students and teachers trapped or killed in the collapsed school that really got me...

Even though I don't personally know anyone living in the disaster area, my thoughts are with the Chinese people right now.

p.s. I do have a good friend who came from Sichuan province.  She has relatives still living in the provincial capital Chengdu.  The last I heard (yesterday), they were unable to get in touch with their relatives.  I hope their loved ones are safe...

ETA:  Talked to my friend today (Wednesday) and found out they had gotten in touch with their family and friends back in Chengdu.  Thank goodness everyone they know was okay!

This is slightly OT, and a bit self-centered, but as I read the news regarding the trapped/killed students from the collapsed Juyuan Middle School, my thoughts were shifted a bit to my son and his school:

The news segment suggested the school building was subpar as the neighboring buildings suffered relatively small damage.

But what does that have to do with my son and his school?

See, my son currently attends International School of Monterey, a public charter school from K to 8th grade.  He *loves* his school -- he told me so just the other day.  About a month ago, the school was given a 90-Day notice by the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD) that it should move to another campus (Hayes Park) soon.

The thing is, Hayes Park campus is substandard.  Many improvements are needed to bring the facility to meet the California codes.  I've heard the school official say there's no way these improvements can be done in 90 days.

The school is actively fighting the move.  However, just yesterday the local newspaper reported (erroneously) that the school IS preparing to move.

As a parent, I'm outraged!


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 14th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC)

Not that losing a child isn't horrific enough, but a newscaster pointed out today that so many families in China only have one child. It's unimaginable what the people there must be going through.
May. 14th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
OMG! You are right! I didn't even think about most of these kids are "only-child". I can't imagine what the parents are going through... ::shiver::

I'm so sappy. Yesterday when I got home, I gave my son an extra hug and kiss. I just needed to have him in my arms...
(Deleted comment)
May. 14th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks! My friend got in touch with her family and friends (see ETA above). Thank goodness everyone she knows is fine...
May. 14th, 2008 07:48 am (UTC)
It really is horrible what happened in China. One can hardly imagine what the people there must be going through right now. I hope your friend will find out about her family soon and I'll pray that all of them are all right.
May. 14th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you! My friend found out the people she knew were all safe (see ETA above). What happened is so devastating. I can't abide to look at the pictures in the news anymore. Every time I see a child's body in those, my eyes start to tear up. I can't imagine a middle school had its entire graduating class wiped out. And asta77 just reminded me (above) that most of these kids are "single child". ::sniffle::
May. 15th, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC)
I'm glad your friend's family is okay. That's at least a small relief in all that tragedy. It's difficult for me too to see all those pictures (the same goes for Burma, where the people aren't even getting all the help they could!). It's just all so terrible.

That's an outrage about your son's school. I hope the school will be able to fight this before it's too late.
May. 16th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
Thanks again. And you are right about the tragedy in Myanmar as well. To me however, what happened in China affected me deeper emotionally, for obvious reasons. That is not to say the Myanmar disaster is any less tragic... What a year!

Edited at 2008-05-16 12:43 am (UTC)
May. 14th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
Arrgh - I'm so happy to hear your friends in China are ok...but so bummed about the school. Put up a fight if you can!
May. 14th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words. At one hand, I'm glad nobody I know has suffered back in China. On the other hand, my heart aches to see so many lives lost, families destroyed...

As to my son's school, the school officials are in negotiation with MPUSD right now. They ask us parents refrain from "talking" to MPUSD Board directly at this time because they don't want to hamper the negotiation. Should the need ever arise though, we are fully prepared to go to the MPUSD Board meeting to speak on our school's behalf. I just hope it won't take a tragedy for some people to realize substandard facilities are not acceptable to house schools for young children.

p.s. It's not like they have immediate use for the school's current campus anyway. If the school gets kicked out from where it is right now, the facility will stand vacant for the next school year at the very least!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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