Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Only tonight did I learn that the epicentre of China's major earthquake is only 90 km. from Chengdu, where my friend Allen Sutterfield is staying. Poet and editor of my first book, he now teaches English at Sichuan University. So far, I have been unable to get through by phone, and he hasn't answered my emails. But from this article and this blog, I am relieved at least to hear that Chengdu, while badly shaken, was not severely damaged: a lot of plaster fell off walls, but apparently not a single building in that city of over 11 million collapsed, and none or very few died. As long as my friend didn't happen to be on an excursion anywhere near Dujiangyan that day...

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