Prior to the devastating earthquake in China, ponds drained, cows threw themselves about, and toads swarmed the streets — warning the people of the oncoming natural disaster. That's the story spreading around the Chinese blogosphere, according to the New York Times. As the rescue efforts continue, the Chinese are going online and asking why the government ignored these warning signs.
The toad invasion did in fact happen, spreading terror among residents prior to the quake. But despite the debunking of the rumor that the Communist government ignored scientific seismological warnings, bloggers are leveling powerful allegations that the government negligently contributed to the disaster by ignoring the harbingers.
The article explains that even well-educated Chinese subscribe to superstitions, such as omens, portents, and lucky numbers rooted in ancient cosmology. But the Communist Party is not following along. In fact, the government has arrested four people for spreading quake-related rumors. That's hardcore!
Do you think governments should be watching toads, or nature in general, as part of their emergency preparedness plans? Even if the Chinese government does not believe in superstitions, it has to deal with a population that does. How will China deal with its people who believe that the quake is a sign that things are not well?