As if Cyclone Nargis — which some fear could kill a million people if disease sets in — and Saturday’s devastating tornadoes in the U.S. heartland (the latest in what is becoming a historically bad year for tornadoes) weren’t enough, now a 7.8 magnitude earthquake has struck central China, causing an official, initial death toll of 107, which is expected to ultimately go much, much higher. There are reports of 5,000 dead in a single county, and 900 students buried at a collapsed school.
UPDATE: Make that almost 9,000 dead:
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated a
hilly region of small cities and towns. The official Xinhua News Agency
said 8,533 people died in Sichuan province and more than 200 others were killed in three other provinces and the mega-city of Chongqing.
When an earthquake kills almost 9,000 people (probably more, in the end), and it’s only the second-worst calamity of the month (by far), you know it’s been a bad month.