The story of two cities, earthquake in china

made soundslide

made soundslide

Until today, the death toll had reached 156 in the earthquake in China. The magnitude has been recorded as 7.0. more than 5,000 people injured only in the city of Yaan. The earthquake struck first at 8:02 on 20th of April, 2013. The location was N30.3, E103.0. The depth of the earthquake was 15km.

Yaan is only 215km from the centre of the 2008 earthquake, Wenchuan, which saw almost 70,000 people died.

Among the grief, tears and horrific pictures, we heard some extraordinary stories.

A 49 year-old lady embraced her 7 year old son to cover him from the falling debris, and she eventually saved her boy and died.

A mum stayed with his son even her son pleaded her to escape. She later lifted 100-pound plus piece of wall to save her son. She was shocked herself by the extra strength she displayed in the ordeal.

A 12 year old girl badly injured herself after trying to cover her 2 year old brother.

A woman gave birth to a little girl in the garage of a hospital during the earthquake.

The reporter from the local television reported the earthquake in front of the camera wearing a wedding dress as she was getting married when it all happened.

This is another test on Chinese people’s emergency respond ability, humanity and morality. We can see the huge differences between these two earthquakes which are parted by 5 years. The army and emergency unit respond more quickly, so did the government. People are more organised when trying to evacuate. This result in less people dead, even the magnitudes from these two earthquakes are close to each other.

However, similar to the Wenchuan earthquake, the Yaan earthquake also exposed the quality problems in buildings. The fact not a lot of buildings took into account of earthquake factor even after the Wenchuan event saddens me.  It is the time for Chinese government to invest more resources on improving the building quality in China especially in the affected area.

Shanghai Ghetto

Why Jews like Shanghai?

Shanghai has attracted a lot of foreign investment and enterprises, although recent financial crisis attacked this city, but shanghai has retained most of foreign companies. The reason for this can attribute to many reasons, but one of them I will mention follow is that this city has very close connection with Jews.


watch video here for shanghai Jewish museum

Now days there’re many people from other countries move to shanghai for various reasons. Many resident communities are described by local people as “the united nations”, tenets that are often coming from dozens of countries and regions in the world. Local people use “Lao Wai” to describe people from abroad, with different color skin with us.

Many ‘Lao Wai’ are white people, who have high nose, blue color eyes. But if observe carefully, most of them they are Jew.

Local people think Jews are amazing. Jews are thought to good at doing business, at this point which is quite similar with south east overseas Chinese. They are wisdom, they are also hard work. In 1930’s, many of them are the winner in the market. We heard lot about is Germanic people who do not good with business like Jews, they own debt with Jew, they felt jealous, they can’t find reason to get rid of debt, later they have no way but using evolution-ism  claim Jews are inferior than Germany. At beginning they want to drive them away, but later they think to kill them all. At that time, shanghai received large numbers of Jews. Shanghai became a place of refuge for Jews in old days. Recent, many Jews hold with appreciation to come to visit their old place.

interview and also a history with Jews in shanghai:

“Shanghai was a multicultural city and the Japanese controlled the city’s Chinese populations. There were elite Sephardic Jews from Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East who had long lived and prospered in Shanghai, as well as the new immigrants from Germany. They were later to be joined by Jews from Lithuania and Poland. The British ruled the International Settlement. The more comfortable Jews had built a community in Shanghai replete with synagogues and schools …” From p. xvi —Strange Haven: A Jewish Childhood in Wartime Shanghai by Sigmund Tobias

‘Shanghai Ghetto’ a Films about Jews live in shanghai during old days:

Shanghai Ghetto

Shanghai Ghetto

other reading:  ‘the Jews of shanghai: uncovering the archives and stories’  by Raymond Pun, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, General Research Division