Monday 16 Jul 2018 | 18:50 | SYDNEY
Monday 16 Jul 2018 | 18:50 | SYDNEY

Notes on the China earthquake


Sam Roggeveen


22 May 2008 12:02

Since I'm in the mood for displaying my ignorance, here's something else I didn't know. According to the World Health Organisation:

...most people killed in natural disasters are healthy at the time of death...and the decomposition process won’t put public health at risk. “There is no public health threat from dead bodies, and this misapprehension causes unnecessary diversion of staff and resources at a critical time…These operations are costly, time consuming, require complicated logistics and coordination, take staff away from caring for survivors and are totally unnecessary,” the WHO said in a statement, adding that “there has never been a documented case of a post-natural-disaster epidemic that could be traced to dead bodies.”

Meanwhile, Business Week's Eye on Asia blog reports that one of the upsides to the tragedy is that it will lead to better enforcement of building codes, and perhaps a growth in insurance coverage against disasters. Insurance seems like an important element of societal resilience.

Also worth a look is Danwei's coverage of how the Chinese press covered the three-day mourning period.