Tuesday, May 20, 2008

China fighting internet bloggers over earthquake

You really can't have that much love for the way China controls information. The internet is impossible to control, and nobody knows you're an idiot! That's why the poor China bigwigs are getting lambasted for all the wrong reasons.

First there's the rumour that there's a big aftershock coming. Maybe there is, and maybe there isn't. The state media has been forced to interview my fav. California seismologist Lucy Jones to fight this crap. She also addresses the other big internet thing, which is they knew all the time that an earthquake was coming and didn't do anything about it.

The second thing was that the buildings were shoddy, cement powder siphoned off by corrupt officials, yada yada. The jury is still out on this, but the buildings might have been as good as it gets in that part of the world. This was a 'super-quake', and we have no idea what the maximum PGV was. As well, a lot of people were killed by huge landslides and boulders rolling off the hills.

It will be interesting to see if any building survived the direct hit, or if any building could have rode it out. As well, we shall be looking out for evidence of the rupture coming to the surface. All that blarney about it being 'shallow' and '10 km deep' came from the automatic locating seismic computer programs which initially set the depth at 10 km. Trying to determine the exact way in which it ruptured will be difficult due to the lack of strong ground motion instruments. They'll be forced to use mathematical models and distant measurements to try and reconstruct the rupture history.

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