Friday, 11 March 2011

The tsunami threatens China's coast

After today’s enormous earthquake off the north-east coast of Japan, the expected tsunami warnings were flashed around the Pacific Rim. The coastal parts of Jiangsu province and Shanghai City are some 1,400 miles as the (very weary) crow flies, and fortunately they’re sheltered from the direct line of any waves by the Japanese islands themselves. 
That said, QQ was buzzing with reports from Jiangsu that the quake had been felt a long way inland. The seismology bureaux along the Jiangsu coast have been predicting a possible tsunami effect, expected to hit places such as Lianyungang 连云港, Yancheng 盐城, Nantong 南通 and Qidong 启东 in the early hours of Saturday 12th. Qidong especially is exposed to any movement in the Pacific, sticking far out into the ocean at its easternmost point and being, like all the coast of Jiangsu, very low lying and densely populated farmland.
As of 10pm local time, there were reports in coastal Jiangsu of fishing fleets and ships at anchor being told to set out for the open sea, where an approaching tsunami would not cause them any damage, rather than risk them being tossed against their moorings.
Shanghai’s Chongming Island 崇明岛, too, is as flat as a pancake, as is Nanhui 南汇. The buzz on the net has been anxious glances at world maps to see whether Shanghai’s closer than Taiwan, to try to calculate when people can stop holding their breath. As one blogger observed, a tsunami this big hitting Shanghai and it’d be all over.

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