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Links 1 through 10 of 34 by David Bandurski tagged earthquake

One of Sichuan province's largest commercial newspapers recently reported that Wenchuan County (汶川县), the site of the 2008 earthquake in which an estimated 68,000 people died, is now applying for 5A tourism destination status for Yingxiu (映秀), the town situated at the quake's epicenter. The lead editorial in today's The Beijing News questions the wisdom of this move, and cautions that the attempt to refashion Yingxiu as a tourist mecca should be sensitive to the views of the local people, and not just be thrust on them. The editorial concludes: "Tourism services in the earthquake region of Wenchuan should follow a standard, but this standard cannot be a routine application of the 5A tourism standard, but must take into account the special characteristics of the quake region. If the wishes of the people of Yingxiu and the feelings of all Chinese [about the tragedy] are not considered, and tourism is pushed in a big way atop the rubble of disaster, it would be better not to do this."

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According to the China Earthquake Administration (CEA), an earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale shook the city of Heyuan in China's southern Guangdong province at around 2:32 in the morning today. The CEA said the quake, which was 13,000 meters under the surface, could be felt in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. There were no reports of injuries.

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Chinese media report that an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale was felt in many areas of China's northern Heilongjiang province. The quake occurred in Russia's Amur region at around 2:10 pm today. According to a report from Platt's, the earthquake's magnitude was 6.1.

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After facing a scandal in June over the alleged embezzlement of charity funds by related charity companies, the Red Cross Society of China this week launched a new online donation database allowing donors to view records of the money they have given. But journalists and Chinese internet users are already pointing out apparent problems. In one news video, which can be viewed by clicking on the headline above, a corporate donor shows how 30 million yuan of its donations are unaccounted for. 

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A daring editorial on commemorating the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which disappeared yesterday from the website of Guangdong's Southern Metropolis Daily, has been re-posted at the paper's site today. The decision to re-post the piece is a puzzling one, given that sources say the editorial has resulted in intense pressure on those responsible. For background on the case, please see our article here: http://bit.ly/kFDWJC

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May 12 marks the third anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake -- referred to in Chinese as the Wenchuan earthquake (汶川地震). QQ.com, one of China's most popular internet news portals, has set up a special page to aggregate related coverage. To access the page, click on the headline above. 

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Writing at Southern Metropolis Daily today, Shanghai-based researcher Yu Hu (于乎) discusses the root causes of panic salt buying in China amidst rumors of possible fallout from Japan's ongoing nuclear crisis. Yu argues essentially that rumors thrive in environments where the credibility of information generally is called into question: "How have rumors and salt buying swept across the country? The American psychologist Gordon Willard Allport once pointed out that rumor was premised on two things: First, importance, for those transmitting and those received the rumor; two, ambiguity, for example where authoritative information is lacking or where the news is not believed or is too brief." 

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According to China National Radio, an earthquake measuring 4.8 shook Xinjiang's Aksu prefecture at 23:34 on March 17. The quake was centered on Kelpin county (柯坪县), at 40.4 latitude north and 79.1 longitude east. According to reporters on the ground, the quake did not cause apparent structural damage to buildings in the area.

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According to the official China News Service, a top executive at China's state-run China National Salt Industry Corp said today that the group is implementing "emergency operation mechanisms" to ensure stable supplies on the domestic salt market, as Chinese consumers reportedly rush to horde salt amid fears of possible fallout from the nuclear accident in nearby Japan. Many Chinese believe iodized salt intake can help to minimize the effects of radiation. Also today, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued a notice calling on local authorities to combat "rumors" about salt shortages amid widespread hoarding.

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The Chinese Embassy in Japan confirmed earlier today that a Chinese citizen surnamed Zhong (钟) died in the tsunami that struck the Japanese city of Sendai on March 11 following a major earthquake. No further details have yet been released. 

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