CHINA / Regional

Quake leaves region largely unscathed
By Zhang Feng in Wen'an and Zhao Huanxin in Beijing (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-07-05 05:55

Sun Ronghua, the only doctor in the worst hit Bijiafang Village, said she received no patients wounded in the quake yesterday afternoon.

The earthquake did however alarm some people.

Villager Bi Chunying, 58, said he would keep his door open at night and sleep with his clothes on.

Seismic waves spread to Beijing, 120 kilometres north, Tianjin, 80 kilometres northeast, and even to Shandong and Shanxi provinces yesterday at noon, before finding their way on to headlines in cyberspace.

Wang Yelun, a Beijing resident, said he was startled when, sitting in a restaurant, he felt as though someone was pulling his chair.

"Many people realized it was an earthquake and rushed out of the restaurant," he said.

A woman patient at No 1 Central Hospital in Tianjin, who identified herself only as Wang, said at first she thought her relatives were shaking her bed and she felt "dizzy" when it shook for a third time.

For many people yesterday's quake was a reminder of the catastrophic earthquake that devastated Tangshan city 30 years ago.

Also in Hebei Province, about 200 kilometres east of Beijing, the Tangshan earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, left 240,000 dead and 160,000 seriously injured.

Experts with the China Earthquake Administration advised Beijing residents not to believe rumours or panic, as buildings in the capital have been designed to resist earthquakes with a seismic intensity scale rating of VIII, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The seismic intensity scale is a way of rating the effects of an earthquake at different sites. Intensity ratings are expressed as Roman numerals between I at the low end and XII at the high end.  

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