Valley Woman Worries About Family in China

May 12, 2008 8:44:23 PM PDT
Heartbreak for Jean Yang as she sees what a massive earthquake did to her hometown of Chengdu, China, the town where she performed as a kid, the town that is still home to close relatives and dear friends. "I was just devastated when I heard that news. Of course the first thought was is my family ok? "The elementary school teacher says she thought the worst when she couldn't get in touch with loved ones in China Sunday night. "I called and called for 30 minutes there were no answers and it got me very worried."

But Monday afternoon she finally connected with relatives who are safe and didn't have major property damage. But a childhood friend told her the experience was terrifying on the 18th floor of a skyscraper. "She described it as they were floating on a boat. She was scared to death, she thought it was the end of the world."

Fresno State professor Steve Lewis calls the China quake devastating. "This earthquake we might think of as a magnitude 8 or 8.1 on the Richter Scale. It's a big earthquake, about the size of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. "

Making the situation worse, Chendgu is the capital city of the Sichuan province and is heavily populated. Professor Lewis said, "You would expect there to be more damage and potentially more loss of life where there are high population densities."

While Jean Yang is thankful that most of her family and friends are safe she is still trying to get a hold of her stepmother. She said, "I hope she's ok. I just feel for them. I really feel for them. I pray to God that they will be ok."

Local Chinese organizations are already mobilizing to collect donations to send to China.


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