From Shenzhen building earthquake to Gansu mountain disaster

A rare tragedy occurred in the Yellow River Stone Forest Mountain Marathon held in Baiyin City, Gansu on Saturday, 172 people participated in the 100 km cross-country race, due to extreme weather, 21 people froze to death, with a mortality rate of 12.2%, setting a world record for the race, even more than the Everest expedition, ringing alarm bells for more than a thousand marathons in China every year. And Shenzhen Sage building vibration for many days, the reason is unknown, the same to the country more than a thousand more than 200 meters high skyscrapers issued a warning to fear nature.

From the pictures released by netizens, Gansu this 100 km cross-country race when the start, the weather is good, the participants are wearing short shirts and shorts, ready to “conquer the yellow horse, ask for the stone forest”. After noon, the weather suddenly deteriorated, there were high winds, hail, freezing rain, some participants lost temperature and withdrew from the race, but the official did not immediately announce the termination of the event, but also failed to organize the first time to rescue the participants who called for help, resulting in heavy casualties. Industry insiders revealed that half of those who froze to death were masters of the ring, including Liang Jing, who is known as “China’s first ultramarathoner”. This is to show that the official failure to issue effective warnings, so that those confident masters planted. Because they just need to run the whole course, they can get 1,600 yuan prize money, the top three even have 5,000 to 8,000 yuan prize money. Many “rookies” fear, rather than lose $1,000 registration fee and withdraw, but escape.

Some of the participants who narrowly escaped death said that this event has been held for three times, the extreme weather has caught the organizers and participants off guard, and the tragedy was an accident. Although the participants have the courage to take the risk and also have the stomach to ease the cheeks of the officials, but, from the weather forecast, runners’ equipment limitation, en route supplies, rescue programs and other issues, I am afraid that more man-made disasters than natural disasters.

In April 2016, when the Huangshan International 100km Cross Country Race was held in She County, Anhui Province, there were 1,667 participants, but due to the sudden rainstorm, many people were injured and more than 500 people withdrew midway. After the race, 118 runners organized a rights group to complain about insufficient supplies and confusing rescue, and demanded compensation from the organizer for registration fees, transportation and accommodation costs, which resulted in alarming the China Athletics Association, which banned the organizer from running the race again. Apparently, Gansu did not learn the lesson of Anhui.

More than 1,000 marathons are held in China every year, an average of three per day. There have been questions about the proliferation of marathons because of the industry chain behind them, with registration fees, sponsorship fees and advertising fees generating significant revenues, and making everyone from the organizers to sporting goods dealers rich and famous, and officials around the country happy to push the envelope, turning a blind eye to the regulation of races and rescue problems, or even the lack of emergency plans.

Officials have no respect for the natural world

In particular, it should be noted that the Gansu mountain disaster is only one of the results of the Chinese officials’ good intentions and lack of respect for the natural world, and what is more worrying is the potential disaster caused by the prevalence of this mentality. Shenzhen Saige Square has been shaking for days recently for unknown reasons and safety concerns, but no safety checks have been conducted by authorities on the country’s more than 1,000 skyscrapers.

According to Wikipedia, there are 127 completed and topped skyscrapers in China (mainland and Hong Kong) that are over 300 meters tall, with the 355.8-meter Sage Tower ranking 49th. The online version of the “2020 China Skyscraper Ranking” shows that there are 1,022 skyscrapers over 200 meters in 80 cities in Hong Kong and China, 96 more than the 926 in the previous year. Netizens jokingly say that from first-tier to tenth-tier cities, the enthusiasm for building skyscrapers is still booming.

Li Xiaojiang, former president of the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, pointed out in an exclusive interview with China Newsweek that although overall there are no major problems with the safety of super-tall buildings, large projects can still occur beyond the understanding of existing natural laws, and the higher and more complex the building, the more likely it is that there is no need to keep challenging the height of the building’s stories. Experts speak euphemistically, and who listens to the admonition?