It really doesn’t surprise me though that so much damage resulted from the quake. I’m really sad about the tens of thousands of people who are dead or missing, but again, it really didn’t surprise me when I heard the stats.
Basically all of the modern buildings in China are made of concrete. When I was looking for an apartment, I was told by my Chinese friends to look for something that was at the most a few years old, because, by rule of thumb, a five-year-old building was considered old due to the material it was made from. I have absolutely no background in construction, but I’m certain the concrete used for most buildings is not the best as it begins to crumble around five years after the structure is built. It is not uncommon to see these “older” buildings being torn down with only a field of rubble remaining of the structures; perhaps the Chinese have lost their ability to build things that last.
Obviously the Sichuanese were unprepared for such a violent earthquake and unfortunately the death toll is climbing. I’m sorry that they were hit so hard, and I hope for many stories of miracles.
If you pray, please pray for the people of Sichuan.