Jump to content


Photo

The ride of my life


  • Please log in to reply
75 replies to this topic

#1 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 14 May 2008 - 01:49

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.news.com.....08-952,00.html


I was standing on top of my (Deyang, Sichuan Province) 6th floor apartment roof when the quake hit, it was singuarly the most terrifying experience of my life and it wasn't one of those cool but scary types either, I simply thought I was dead.

I have done some engineering studys up on towers including a 900ft flue and thought I was used to movement but had no idea how far and how much flex concrete and steel can bear.

Of course I didnt understand what was happening, the feeling was like when you were a kid on a trampoline and your freind at the other end trying to tip you off. Then I realised, "effin Earthquake".

The building was more than shaking, it was being whipped from side to side and up and down and I believed there was no way it wasn't going to fall so I made an instant decision to stand on a major structual concrete support block and ride the building down or have a chance to jump off the side against running down the internal stairs dying for certain when it came down.

After about 20 seconds I don't know why, I guess I was so darn scared I bolted down the stairs with concrete from the walls falling on me as I went and listening for the noise above as the roof would start to come down.

Getting outside through the ground floor doors was something I'll never forget, sounds corny but I was alive.

Getting outside of course people running to the street, some naked, (I was only in my shorts) of course the range of crying, laughing, screaming but mostly confusion.

It went for a long time, maybe minutes we all watched our homes violently swaying and glass shattering everywhere.

The ground incredibly felt like liquid, again, like standing on a trampoline and the noise was incredible, who thought the earth can make so much noise? It was like the fabled freight train coming.

My city was lucky, we seemed to be just far enough away that we only got limited damage to both buildings and people although I know some freinds are dead, Mianzhu, Mianyang, Shi Fang and many small towns and villages just to our Nth West were flattened and am sad to tell you that we know and now has been confirmed by the Gov. that more than 20 schools collapsed. Schools here are usually 3 to 5 stories high

Its now 2 days on and I'm tired, I was at the hospital last yesterday helping carry the dead and injured doing what I can from memory of my first aid course and its just not stopping. Its not pretty when a hospital is overrun the decisions you have to make.

Have slept in the car for 2 nights away from anything that may fall on us of course and the ground isn't stable and many aftershocks continue. And of course its been raining heavily the whole time, why wouldn't it?

I'm alive but many aren't, give your missus and kids a kiss tonight because..Tomorrow is promised to no one.
__________________

Advertisement

#2 OfficeLinebacker

OfficeLinebacker
  • Member

  • 14,022 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 14 May 2008 - 02:11

Glad you're OK and helping.

Have to note the irony of living in your car but still able to post on the internet!

#3 imaginesix

imaginesix
  • Member

  • 5,841 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 14 May 2008 - 03:55

Bloody hell. :eek:

Much, much respect to you and everyone there soldiering through this catastrophe. :up: :cry: :up:

From your description alone, I question whether I could manage as well as you seem to. Or even at all. :|

#4 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 14 May 2008 - 08:15

Well its 2 days later, still some movement but we never lost electricty and I'm suprised I can post. I'm in house but the movements are eiry and I get nervous and have to leave quite often. The Goverment has declared it safe to return but do you trust them! LOL! I'm sleeping in the car tonight!

www.flickr.com/cheapracer

#5 Fat Boy

Fat Boy
  • Member

  • 1,891 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 14 May 2008 - 14:53

I don't envy what you've had to endure. You've just brought a very real face on what was previously a very nebulous 'over there' tragedy. Be safe and God bless.

#6 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 14 May 2008 - 15:30

Glad to hear you survived in one piece. Best wishes to you and yours.

#7 dosco

dosco
  • Member

  • 1,623 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 14 May 2008 - 17:50

Keep your head down, and check your six.

Godspeed, Cheapracer.

#8 turin

turin
  • Member

  • 3,043 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 14 May 2008 - 22:43

Glad you made it cheapracer.

I've been there and the sensation is terrible.

#9 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 15 May 2008 - 00:12

The aftershocks thru the night kept waking us up and setting off car alarms, they wouldnt let me go into the hills yesterday, I want to help there or transport people back. Feel useless and very sad that people can be heard alive under rubble but can't do anything, impossible to get cranes etc. into the hilly areas.

Have seen the local news with local news teams trekking in with the Army and it looks like a Hollywood movie with the massive cracks in the roads and toppled buildings. Its really rugged country up there. Many sides of Mountains have subsided.

1 German freind here died when he fell down the stairs trying to get out of his building, ironic that the building didn't collapse but who's to know.


www.flickr.com/cheapracer

#10 Zmeej

Zmeej
  • Member

  • 31,449 posts
  • Joined: June 01

Posted 15 May 2008 - 01:17

Originally posted by OfficeLinebacker
Glad you're OK and helping.

What he said. :up:

#11 phantom II

phantom II
  • Member

  • 1,784 posts
  • Joined: September 05

Posted 15 May 2008 - 13:47

[i]Keep your head down, and check your six.

Dam glad you are still with us, CR.

#12 jeremy durward

jeremy durward
  • Member

  • 244 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 16 May 2008 - 06:31

glad to hear your alright

and good to hear your helping where you can

#13 Canuck

Canuck
  • Member

  • 1,687 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 16 May 2008 - 16:21

Originally posted by phantom II


Dam glad you are still with us, CR.

Yup.

#14 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,422 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 16 May 2008 - 17:50

I must have missed something, I never knew you were in China...

You never know what's in you until you strike a tragedy like this. Hope you come through it all right.

#15 phantom II

phantom II
  • Member

  • 1,784 posts
  • Joined: September 05

Posted 17 May 2008 - 00:52

Hey. Talk to us everyday otherwise we'll get worried, OK?

Originally posted by cheapracer
The aftershocks thru the night kept waking us up and setting off car alarms, they wouldnt let me go into the hills yesterday, I want to help there or transport people back. Feel useless and very sad that people can be heard alive under rubble but can't do anything, impossible to get cranes etc. into the hilly areas.

Have seen the local news with local news teams trekking in with the Army and it looks like a Hollywood movie with the massive cracks in the roads and toppled buildings. Its really rugged country up there. Many sides of Mountains have subsided.

1 German freind here died when he fell down the stairs trying to get out of his building, ironic that the building didn't collapse but who's to know.


www.flickr.com/cheapracer



#16 silverc4s

silverc4s
  • New Member

  • 4 posts
  • Joined: May 04

Posted 19 May 2008 - 19:43

Cheapracer,
Our prayers for you everyday there. Hope you are just too busy to bother with us. let us know when you can..

#17 macoran

macoran
  • Member

  • 3,989 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 19 May 2008 - 22:35

Let us just hope and pray only the internet connection crashed.
I lived in Thailand for 27 years, and although it was always quite safe there.....
My sister has a house in Hua-Hin and she hasn't answered any e-mails for a week.

#18 Bill Sherwood

Bill Sherwood
  • Member

  • 444 posts
  • Joined: May 03

Posted 20 May 2008 - 05:56

Glad to hear you're still in once piece mate.

#19 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 22 May 2008 - 05:48

Its F*&^ing terrible here.

I truly thought I was going mental from tiredness and stress, I keep feeling my balance going off and feeling sick but then I read this morning that there has been 86 aftershocks no less than 4.5 and as high as 6.0 with 7000 registered movements.

I slept, if you can call it that, back in my house last night clothed with my running shoes on. As you can imagine I really didn't sleep and just knackered today.

It's tent city here, everyones afraid to go back inside because the last 2 big earthquakes in China had a second hit and the big damage/loss of life 7 days after the first hit so everyone is waiting for that one here now.


Some things I wrote during the last week..

I'm really angry about the schools that fell, Chinese bussinessman are cheats and liars. the whole business culture here is one of graft, corruption and whats called "Guanxi" (gwan shee) meaning "relationship".

You have heard of the schools that fell down I'm sure, thousands of kids are dead, the designs would have been fine on paper but what happens is the 'Construction Boss' who firstly bribed the local Gov Official to get the contract will see that the design calls for say 8 rio steel bars per meter (hor and vert) but he knows from experience it will stand comfortably with 5 bars. So he gets the money for the 8 bars and orders either 5 or arranges to credit 3 of the 8 back and split some money with the Steel Boss to keep his mouth shut. Of course the same deal with the amount of cement and stone/aggregate in the concrete mix (mix is done on site in China, not trucked in so is controlable by the Boss) so you end up with the soft, sandy, steel-less mess you now see on TV with the arms and legs sticking out.

The good news is they execute people here for this and theres none of this waiting in jail for 10 years on appeal B/S either. Not that it helps the kids.

You want to help? Tell this story to anyone that listens, it will help kids in the future and not just in China.


.........

They're big on ceremony here but don't see the nonsense it is and the damage it does.

They had a 1 minute silence Nationwide at the 1 week mark - in most countrys you just stand still and pay respects, here they orderly line up, make sure their clothes are neat etc. probably costing 10 minutes - they are still finding people alive, 3 yesterday and they made them wait that extra 10 minutes.

Anything they do such as get into their trucks, planes etc. they also group and get instruction or the pride talk from their CO's - excuse me, but weren't they already trained? This time cost lives. Mind you on the good side they did send 100,000 troops in and they work hard.

Same with the private cars and trucks, instead of just throwing it (food blankets etc.) into your car and get there, theres the meeting first (and I mean in an office!) then get your banners tied on to show which group your from and then drive in a line of 10 or so cars stopping occasionally to check everyones keeping up.

It's insane.

You do what the Goverment tells you to do here then you can have your personal feelings.

............

On the good side 3 local leading officials were instantly fired, not a small thing either. 1 simply didn't report for work until 4 days after (don't blame him for being scared but he is a leader of the people), 1 was too busy organising his small supermarket to care for people and the other was inaccurately reporting death and injury probably not at the scene and just guessing or asking by phone. They have probably been in public service all their lives and will unlikely work again.

............

Nice storys,

Some good news today (relevant to the situation of course), you may all know that China has a 1 child policy - well people here are excited and already coming forward to immediately adopt orphaned children giving them the 2 or 3 children familys they always wanted. Maybe seems selfish but look at the tradgedy of children in other countries with similar disasters

Tangshan was destroyed in 1974 by an Earthquake that killed 240,000 people and left many orphans. Now of course those orphans are now Adults and they are asking the Goverment to allow them to pay back society by taking in all the orphans from this event.

Advertisement

#20 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 22 May 2008 - 05:56

Oh, 2 days ago in a noodle restaraunt we were eating breakfast and some of the customers started complaining they thought the servings were smaller than usual, man you had to be there to see it when I let go at them.

80,000 dead so far, many missing, many, many homeless and some hill people still can't get food and these assholes sitting there complaining about their 15cent bowl of noodles.

You lose your sense of humour after a week of no/bad sleep.

#21 Greg Locock

Greg Locock
  • Member

  • 4,609 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 22 May 2008 - 10:08

The school construction story was front page news in "The Australian", so word is getting out.

Glad to hear you are OK, keep up the good work.

#22 GreenMachine

GreenMachine
  • Member

  • 799 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 22 May 2008 - 12:20

Good to hear from you, and that you are ok - hope it stays that way!

Our thoughts are with you and all the survivors, especially those who have lost family, doubly for the ones who have lost children.

I was down your way just before the Tienmen (sp?) massacre thing, beautiful country. Not many people had even seen europeans then, it was still a closed province - lots has changed since then, but not some other things.

#23 phantom II

phantom II
  • Member

  • 1,784 posts
  • Joined: September 05

Posted 22 May 2008 - 13:25

Nice storys, .

Originally posted by cheapracer
Its F*&^ing terrible here.

The good news is they execute people here for this and theres none of this waiting in jail for 10 years on appeal B/S either. Not that it helps the kids.

You want to help? Tell this story to anyone that listens, it will help kids in the future and not just in China.



#24 gbaker

gbaker
  • Member

  • 264 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 22 May 2008 - 17:25

Hang in there CR. We are all pulling for you!

#25 zac510

zac510
  • Member

  • 1,713 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 24 May 2008 - 10:37

To endure that then instantly turn to perform medical aid, that's gutsy. Maybe it's the best way to deal with it- kills time and takes your mind off your own plight.

Originally posted by gbaker
Hang in there CR. We are all pulling for you!


He's an Aussie so that comment should cheer him up :)

#26 robroy

robroy
  • Member

  • 197 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 24 May 2008 - 10:42

Good luck Cheapracer.
Its hard to imagine what entails such a natural disaster, living in a safe little island like the UK.
The reports from the media and net are tragic and disturbing and the outlook so bleak. From the darkness though, occassional shards of light manage to pierce through in the form of stories of people overcoming adversity, helping others, saving lives and reporting what is going on. People like you.
Mucho respecto.

#27 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 27 May 2008 - 11:28

Thanks for your support Guys, its really rotten here.

Thers been over 100 aftershocks over 4.5 many around 5.0 and some as high as 6.5 which is an Earthquake on its own. as well as the 8000 registered tremors, its like being in a boat.

2 days ago a 6.5 hit and killed more people. I was in my "safe according to the Goverment" Chengdu apartment, 25th floor at the time. You have no idea how helpless you feel when you know theres no way you can run down 25 floors in time. My Lady ducked under our dining room table and I mentioned to her that a few tons of concrete roof ain't going to be stopped by 20mm of wood. I just sat on the couch and am quite willing to mention I was very nervous. This one went for almost 1 minute, when it stopped we went down in the lift and upon reaching the road outside, my Lady says "I forgot my magazine, can we go back and get it?" :rolleyes: The laws against beating woman ought to have some clauses.

I am now back in Deyang because the 6th floor at least gives me a chance and I'm sleeping in a tent near the house.

I got some shots of the damage in the next town and I'll put them up tomorow or so.

#28 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,768 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 28 May 2008 - 09:00

Good luck mate. Thinking of you. :wave:

#29 ben38

ben38
  • Member

  • 115 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:35

Well,

First of all happy that you are still here CR.

I leave in China also, in Zhuhai, which is quite far from you.
At the time of the earthquake I was in Sepang but felt a small one in there at night.

About the news on that in China, it is the usual non information and blink eye.
The first report said 10 deads...
Afterwards they had to admit it and were still giving very lower estimations than any foreign press.
They just show on tv the proud government troups getting there to help.
Non here really know what is going on as usual.

About the Tibet stuff here, all people think the monks fired first...

Good luck to you and don't forget that the local government has never been here to help people.

Ben38

#30 saudoso

saudoso
  • Member

  • 4,743 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 14 April 2010 - 10:47

Are you all right there CR?

#31 pheyden1448

pheyden1448
  • New Member

  • 13 posts
  • Joined: March 10

Posted 14 April 2010 - 13:24

CR

Take care. I have been through a few earthquakes over the years, but it never gets any easier. Luckily I have never been close enough to be in real danger.

Regards,
Paul

Thanks for your support Guys, its really rotten here.

Thers been over 100 aftershocks over 4.5 many around 5.0 and some as high as 6.5 which is an Earthquake on its own. as well as the 8000 registered tremors, its like being in a boat.

2 days ago a 6.5 hit and killed more people. I was in my "safe according to the Goverment" Chengdu apartment, 25th floor at the time. You have no idea how helpless you feel when you know theres no way you can run down 25 floors in time. My Lady ducked under our dining room table and I mentioned to her that a few tons of concrete roof ain't going to be stopped by 20mm of wood. I just sat on the couch and am quite willing to mention I was very nervous. This one went for almost 1 minute, when it stopped we went down in the lift and upon reaching the road outside, my Lady says "I forgot my magazine, can we go back and get it?" :rolleyes: The laws against beating woman ought to have some clauses.

I am now back in Deyang because the 6th floor at least gives me a chance and I'm sleeping in a tent near the house.

I got some shots of the damage in the next town and I'll put them up tomorow or so.



#32 Paolo

Paolo
  • Member

  • 1,673 posts
  • Joined: May 00

Posted 14 April 2010 - 14:08

Glad you're alive and helping.

I've been through Southern Italy earthquake in 1980, was a kid but will never forget.

The earth noise you cite, I can still hear it.

Edited by Paolo, 14 April 2010 - 14:12.


#33 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 14 April 2010 - 14:10

My daughters all just sent me messages to see if I'm ok, I know nothing about the quake that apparently has happened.

And I just looked it up and I was halfway to there all weekend (kangding and hailuogou glacier about 10 hours drive away) on a 3 day holiday - I said to my Lady that I felt 2 tremors in the hotel on Fri or Sat night. It's on the edge of the same basin as last years bad one I think about 300 kms further North.

Thanks for your concern.

Bloody hell, whats happening around the globe the last year with all these quakes?



#34 meb58

meb58
  • Member

  • 603 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 14 April 2010 - 16:42

...the dark rift.

Glad you are okay...and I was going to ask if you are married with children...everyone is safe?

#35 imaginesix

imaginesix
  • Member

  • 5,841 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 14 April 2010 - 17:27

Bloody hell, whats happening around the globe the last year with all these quakes?


Large Hadron Collider.

:eek:

#36 OfficeLinebacker

OfficeLinebacker
  • Member

  • 14,022 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 14 April 2010 - 21:40

Large Hardon Collider.


WTF!?!?!?!


#37 dosco

dosco
  • Member

  • 1,623 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 15 April 2010 - 03:21

Large Hadron Collider.

:eek:


Bah.

It's because 2012 is coming. Clearly.

Or global warming.



#38 SteveCanyon

SteveCanyon
  • Member

  • 245 posts
  • Joined: December 09

Posted 15 April 2010 - 06:44

WTF!?!?!?!



Posted Image

Science.
It's cutting edge.

#39 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 15 April 2010 - 11:32

Ahh Bill, errr Steve, ya killing me, I couldn't breathe for a bit after seeing that... :rotfl:

Advertisement

#40 meb58

meb58
  • Member

  • 603 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 15 April 2010 - 13:25

Well, that cartoon says it all...poles are reversing. The catastrophy is worse than I thought.

Seriously, are you still sleeping in your car?

#41 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 15 April 2010 - 13:45

Meb, that was a year ago, this is a new quake thats just happened.

An Army convoy went past us today apparently relief for the soldiers already there. Took over an hour for all of them to go past, thats a lot of men.

#42 meb58

meb58
  • Member

  • 603 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 20 April 2010 - 20:53

...I got lost somewhere...you've experienced two quakes in China?

#43 Marc Sproule

Marc Sproule
  • Member

  • 666 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 25 April 2010 - 23:57

cheapracer:

As someone who has lived on the San Andreas fault for over 50 years I can understand everything you're feeling.

In addition to the thousands of quakes I've felt here..including the '89 Loma Prieta quake...I was also present for one in Mexico City in '79 while down there for a Formula Atlantic/USAC weekend.

Even though the epicenter was some ways away the damage in MC was stunning. Shoddy construction in the hotel we were in...which had been open for less than a week...meant that it collapsed in the big one in MC 5 or 6 years later. Glad I wasn't there for that one.

The nastiest spot in hell is reserved for those who don't build structures the way they're supposed to be in quake zones. They are murderers in my book.

I wish you well and hope your quake experiences are not repeated.

ms







#44 imaginesix

imaginesix
  • Member

  • 5,841 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 26 April 2010 - 00:13

Meb, that was a year ago, this is a new quake thats just happened.

An Army convoy went past us today apparently relief for the soldiers already there. Took over an hour for all of them to go past, thats a lot of men.


It would be faster if they gave 'em bicycles. I guess it would be a real mess trying to pedal in lock step cadence, though if anyone can do it the Chinese can.

Edited by imaginesix, 26 April 2010 - 00:15.


#45 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 26 April 2010 - 05:40

I wish you well and hope your quake experiences are not repeated.

ms


Now that I've seen Mother Nature's brute force I wouldn't wish it on anyone, showed me how fragile and insignificant we are.

Well of course I'm less insignificant than most.  ;)

Thanks everyone for your well wishes :up:

#46 Marc Sproule

Marc Sproule
  • Member

  • 666 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 26 April 2010 - 06:00

Here are some very informative links to the USGS earthquake sites....

The first one is for the west coast of the US.....it's always quite busy, and with all the activity in Baja California lately I wouldn't be surprised in the least if we started having more significant activity further north.....

http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/recenteqs/

Here's a link to earthquakes worldwide in the last week...

http://earthquake.us...es/recenteqsww/

There are many links to other information on these pages. I've learned a lot about quakes by exploring the links.

#47 gruntguru

gruntguru
  • Member

  • 5,479 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 26 April 2010 - 08:28

And now volcanos in Iceland. The experts expect that situation to worsen. Seems to be a lot of significant seismic events lately.

#48 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 11 May 2010 - 10:01

From the "living in China" latest ...

So ask yourself, when was the last time you woke up in the morning and thought "Well better be careful, might get bitten by a bat today and need to go get rabies shots ....."

My Lady shrieks out to me from the kitchen in their normal 'threatened by an animal' voice so I dash to the rescue - "theres an animal next to the fridge", yup sure is.

Its a bit dark down the side of the fridge but I see a toad and grab it - oops, not a toad and it's biting me bloody hard...

FFS, it's a BAT!

A little bastard about the size of my palm and its got it's beak sunk into my left 2nd finger, stupidly tried to shake it which probably broke the skin, nothing more than a pin prick and a drop of blood. It finally fell to the ground - what a vicious little mongrel it was too every time I went to pick it up. I clonk it over the head in revenge.

Finally threw it out the window (6th floor) to finalyse it's death but half way down the darn thing suddenly comes to life and flies off.

Bat 1
Cheap 0

Anyway mention to some friends and they all start on about rabies and I'll go mad (yeah right, like anyone would notice) - get to a hospital pronto.

So went to hospital and yup, rabies shots it is - one every 5 days 5 times...

BASTARDS!!!!

Hmm why do I have this sudden urge to don a cape and fight crime at night....

Posted Image

#49 Tony Matthews

Tony Matthews
  • Member

  • 17,502 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 11 May 2010 - 10:06

Posted Image

They're using the one 'for human use' on you? Odd...

#50 GreenMachine

GreenMachine
  • Member

  • 799 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 11 May 2010 - 12:03

They're using the one 'for human use' on you? Odd...


Tony, shame, that is a cheap shot, ....

:smoking:

Edited by GreenMachine, 11 May 2010 - 12:04.