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July 28
2000:Britain pioneers HIV vaccine
[ 2007-07-24 08:32 ]

July 28
Chinese officials were reluctant to release details of the earthquake
1976: Chinese earthquake kills hundreds of thousands

England have

Hundreds of thousands of people are feared dead following an earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter Scale in China.

The quake has virtually destroyed the city of Tangshan, north-east of Beijing, and Western sources believe the death toll may be much higher than the official figure of 240,000. Some believe the figure is more like 750,000.

The Hong Kong Royal Observatory reports the earthquake was intense although speculation of the magnitude of the quake ranges from 6.3 to 8.3.

Around 2,000 people are believed to have died when the quake devastated the city's biggest hospital, according to sources quoting Chinese officials.

It is feared that many miners are buried alive in coal works in the industrial city, which has a total population of 1.6m.

Diplomatic observers say that up to 80,000 people died in the first shock of the natural disaster.

Up to 164,000 people have been severely injured, according to initial reports from the city.

Tangshan was at the epicentre of the formidable earthquake although it badly damaged Tientsin and tremors were felt in Beijing, where residents were urged to live in the streets and keep to open spaces as it is not thought to be safe to return to their homes in the city.

The force of the quake has been so strong that people are reported to have been thrown into the air after roads, bridges, railway stations, homes and factories were completely destroyed.

The quake has also knocked out power throughout the city, making rescue efforts difficult.

When the earthquake struck Tangshan at 03:42 local time, more than a million people lay sleeping. The entire earthquake reportedly lasted approximately 14 to 16 seconds. It was followed by an aftershock measuring 7.1.

Survivors have been digging through debris to answer the calls for help as well as find missing relatives.

There is a deep-seated peasant belief that the "Year of the Dragon" (which happens every 12 years) augurs ill.

The survivors of the Tangshan quake are living in tents and are expected to be moved to winter shelters, the New China news agency has reported. Aircraft and lorries have been taking large quantities of relief supplies to help the relief effort.

The authorities later hope to move people to simple houses, which can withstand tremors and are warm and rainproof before winter sets in.

Chinese officials have rejected any offers of help from the outside world, saying that survivors have enough to eat and wear and there are sufficient medical supplies and doctors in the city.

July 28
The former Royal Marines officer is optimistic about his new party

1988: Ashdown to lead Britain's third party

Artificially 1969:
The The MP for Yeovil, Paddy Ashdown, has been elected the first leader of the new Social and Liberal Democrat Party.

Mr Ashdown, 47, won a decisive victory with 41,401 votes - 71.9% - against former deputy leader of the Liberal Party Alan Beith who polled 16,906 votes - 28.1%.

Following an eight-week campaign Mr Ashdown was widely expected to win the election, but the size of the margin was a surprise.

With such a strong mandate his team is confident they can build a strong third political party for the UK that can provide "a decent, effective and responsible" alternative to Thatcherism in three years.

Mr Ashdown gave an optimistic press conference after receiving the results outside the SLD headquarters in Westminster, with his wife Jane and former joint leader David Steel standing beside him.

"Our first priority must be to look beyond the internal politics of our party to the concerns of our nation," he said.

The ex-Royal Marines officer was keen to put the year-long problems of merging the Liberals and Social Democrats behind him and rejected any schemes for coalition with other opposition parties.

Leader of the SDP Dr David Owen sent his congratulations and renewed his proposal for an electoral pact.

Labour leader Neil Kinnock has dismissed Mr Ashdown's ambition to become the main opposition party.

Mr Ashdown hopes to exploit internal arguments within the Labour Party and has said he does not expect they will form a government again.

Positions within the SLD will be announced in September and Mr Ashdown will go on a nationwide tour in October.

Paddy Ashdown did not enter Parliament until 1983 - when he became MP for his Somerset constituency - after periods commanding a unit in the Special Boat Squadron and serving as a diplomat.


tremor : a shaking or vibrating movement, as of the earth(震动;颤动)

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