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Chinese Blame Government For Ignoring Earthquake Omens

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?


raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Shhhhh. I am Auntie Coosa. shhhhhhh.
stephley stephley 9 years
Come to think of it, no Auntie either. What are you guys up to?
stephley stephley 9 years
Please, I've been fighting the world alone on Alabama and Iraq, a girl's gotta vent. Is Yesteryear with you? She's been gone all day too.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Stephley, you get really mean in the pm. Funny, but mean.
stephley stephley 9 years
And he's got to thin it out somehow.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I am so sick of everyone blaming Wen Jaibao for everything! Tibet, the export of poisonous products to the open market, earthquakes. It's like, give the guy a break, he's ruling a third of the human population.
stephley stephley 9 years
I'd interpret it wrong and get hit from another direction. I guess if the book was that good or Taiwan would have warned China about the quake. I think people just don't want to face that anything can happen anytime and usually there aren't warnings - we have to believe there was a reason that we overlooked. You can know a hurricane is headed towards you, but you can't know if it's suddenly going to turn or gather strength.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Yeah...and my ma always warns me about stuff way too late. You know what would happen to me, though? If I read some warning about something I needed to watch out for that day, I'd probably spend all day obsessing about it, and yet disaster would befall me anyway...I'm just made like that! :p
stephley stephley 9 years
Too bad, there are many mornings when I'd love to get up to clear instructions as to what I should expect!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
She gets it in Taiwan. I tried to read hers once, looking of course for my horoscopes, but the language is so arcane that even I couldn't figure out WTH it was saying :(
NYFashionista NYFashionista 9 years
lol me too. I would have freaked if I had been that person on the bicycle...
Jesstagirl Jesstagirl 9 years
Wow. Now people are blaming the government for Acts of God? Geeeez.
stephley stephley 9 years
Hey Jude - where can the rest of us get that almanac?!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
How can this be superstition when you have creatures reacting collectively in the same manner? They're obviously reacting to something and to call it superstition is just cynicism being its worst enemy. I'm sure most of us grew up watching Wild Kingdom and Nature etc. Animals survive in the wild by reading to non-verbal communication with their own, inter-species and through the surrounding environment. It would pay our human arrogance well to heed Mother Nature when she's trying to tell us something.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
NYF, I had to look after you mentioned it, and that toad invasion is creepy! I think I might have nightmares about it tonight.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
That is freaky Jude. I love horoscopes.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Oh, and don't discount Chinese superstition ;) My mom has this crazy Chinese horoscope almanac thingy that gives incredibly detailed predictions, and a couple of days after a very disastrous weekend during which I a) fell up a flight of stairs in a really weird way that resulted in my face looking like I'd been hit by a truck, b) slipped getting out of the bath and twisted the hell out of my arm trying to catch myself, and c) burned my arm cooking, she called me up and said, "Oh, by the way, your horoscope said you should watch out for accidents."
NYFashionista NYFashionista 9 years
wow, I only pictured what a toad invasion might look like and there's a picture on the wesbite Liberty's ridiculous!
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
where do the ponds drain to? that's kind of wierd. but i'm sure the animals were on to something. When I had a horse, I knew when she acted crazy that the weather was going to change big time. like, a major front or storm. She would tuck her butt under and take off like a freaking rocket, running around the pasture. It was an awesome sight to see. I always prayed "This is beautiful, but dear Lord please never let her do that while I am on her back."
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
When a cow tips itself, you know you're in trouble!
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
You are correct NYF! If you see the waves go far back, run like hell! That is my fathers worst fear since he can't swim very well. I don't think governments should put much stock in superstitions, however ponds draining, cows throwing themselves about, and toads swarming the streets, are pretty ominous signs, and should probably raise some eyebrows. Especially if ponds really were draining.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
:rotfl: stephley!
stephley stephley 9 years
I've read that animals tend to hide before a quake, but you'd have to be watching animals all the time to determine if that's true. (and who would have thought to be watching them in the mid-west lately?) We offer the Chinese government our crazy ministers to explain to the people what they've done wrong - since there's no chance of China having a liberal government, it would definitely be the people who caused it.
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