FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2008
Contact: K.E. Schwab
SRU professor in China reports no ill effects from earthquake
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's George Brown, associate professor of political science, on sabbatical from the University and teaching in China, reports he was unharmed by the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that devastated a large region of China Monday. Brown and his wife are in Nanjing.
The quakes epicentre was in Yingxiu. The quake is being reported as the most destructive in 30 years. The latest death toll has been marked at more than 15,000 and is expected to continue to climb. Food and medicine are being airdropped throughout the stricken region, estimated to be about the size of Maryland. Rescuers continue to work to free those trapped by the rubble of collapsed buildings and homes.
In an early-morning e-mail back to campus, Brown wrote, "I was in the library and didn't notice anything, but my wife, Naomi, was home in our 24th-floor apartment, and she definitely felt the building move and shake a bit. But there has been no damage at all in this area � Sichuan province is at least 1,000 miles from here."
Brown is teaching a Japanese-Chinese relations course and conducting research at Nanjing University, located in the ancient capital city of China. The university was founded in 258 AD, making it one of the oldest higher education institutions in the world. At SRU, he teaches courses related to Asian politics and is adviser to SRU's Japan Club.
Brown has been to the earthquake area on earlier trips. "I spent two summers at a university in Chengdu in the 1980s, very near the epicenter. What amazes me is that there hasn't been a lot more loss of life and building collapses, given the magnitude of the earthquake. In the Tangshan earthquake in 1976, which had a very similar magnitude, more than 250,000 people died. Fortunately this time the earthquake was in a less densely populated area."
Brown is to return to campus for next spring semester.
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