How did physical and human factors interrelate during the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008?

An overall picture of what happened during and after the Sichuan Earthquake can be found here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/asia_pacific/2008/china_quake/default.stm

Aside from the huge scale of the earthquake, it showed how China had changed over the past few years. Eager to seem more in touch with the people, the Chinese government gave more attention and aid to the affected area thatn they might have previously. This included visits from member of the Chinese communist leadership to the quake area itself.

There were still episodes which revealed that not all has changed in China. Protesting parents were silenced and some observers felt that the government’s reaction was only as sympathetic as it was because the eyes of the world were on China in the run up to the 2008 Olympics. The ability for the central government to mobilise huge numbers of people and equipment to limit the impact of the quake was clear from the scale of the response, which threw the pathetic efforts of the Burmese junta in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis into stark contrast.

Whatever the truth, many people around the world saw a more “human” side to a nation which has traditionally kept itself to itself, particularly in terms of emotions.

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