Anniversary of 5.12@Szechuan Earthquake

May 12, 2009 jeansdream
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May 12, 2008 was a truly heart-wrecking day.

Monday, 2:28 pm, magnituded at 7.8 on the Richter scale, the first of a series of quakes shoke up the Wenchuan county of the southwest China’s Szechuan province.

Many school buildings collapsed on that day. Piles and piles of concrete collapsed like crumbs. Many school-aged kids were buried alive. Note the nearby government buildings remained intact.

These crumbled school buildings got named as “tofu-dregs buildings”(豆腐渣工程). Why “tofu-dregs”? Because the walls and ceilings collapsed like tofu and the remains looked like tofu dregs (tofu with the water squeezed out) – the school buildings were almost “frameless”. The inner support frames were lacking – the steel was either too thin, or too short, or short-joint; hence when the quake of such intensity hit the area, these tofu buildings just crumbled down and engolfed those inside the buildings.

Earlier this week, a government report was released. In the report, it was stated that the investigation took place, and there is no direct evidence that the collapse of the buildings has relationship with the quality of the building.  The buildings collapsed simply because the quake was too strong.  The Szechuan government has been denying any deaths caused by the “tofu-dreys” construction projects : the number of deaths remains 0 – ZERO.  So far, no government officials need to be responsible for the “tofu-dreys” construction projects – NO ONE.

Today, at Ming Pao‘s another article, a Ming Pao’s reporter got hold of the construction plan of the Beichuan Secondary school (北川中學) with over 1000 student/teachers’ deaths. This plan, along with the photos taken by the parents of the dead kids, were examined by an assistant professor of the Hong Kong University who had personally visited Beichuan Secondary in the New Year’s day. His verdict was the construction plan was real, but the execution of the construction wasn’t done per the plan. The execution had serious flaws and faults. The stones used for making the concrete were too big. The local building code is not to use stones with diameter bigger than 2 cm. From the photo at the quake site, some stones were larger than 10 cm. With the beams and posts being too thin and the number of them too few, being misplaced at the wrong location would seriously weakened the support structure of the school building.

Local media in China which reported findings of the construction plan got banned by the government.

Don’t ask me why the government investigation didn’t see these facts or report the facts as seen.

Don’t ask me if the government truly wants to have lessons learned.

Don’t ask me if the Chairman, who personally and physically visited the heat zone believes these reports, or authorizes the ban of these media.

Don’t ask me if someone’s head(s) should roll. The heads who caused the lives of the future generations of China. The heads who approved and endorsed such BS investigation reports. The heads who enforced the ban execution on those who report the truth.

You probably know the answers.

This is a Facebook group set up on May 10 after this article was published:
四川媽媽 母親節逃亡
「豆腐渣」殺子 申冤被打壓兩度流產

I am happy to hear encouraging news near the anniversary like kids continuing their studies, 108 one-year-old babies celebrating birthdays at the temple where they were borned etc. But I won’t be distracted. I would be happier if the real culprits get their prompt and deserving punishment and the government is determined to make sure 豆腐渣工程 does not and can not repeat.

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