Tragedies continue to happen in Sichuan province, China. After enduring a terrible drought from the heat and lack of power due to water shortages at hydroelectric dams, on September 5 a magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook Sichuan leaving at least 65 dead, 16 missing, and many injured.

The earthquake occurred amid a lockdown ordered by authorities to prevent the spread of COVID. 

As the tremors began, people reacted instinctively and headed to the streets to escape the disaster, but many found the doors of their buildings locked due to the COVID restrictions.

Even before the tremors ended, a man named Da Bai, shouting into a megaphone, demanded people stay home in compliance with the quarantine rules, and telling everyone that the earthquake had already passed. Authorities refused to unlock the doors to let the people go out into the street. After this there were seven more tremors in an hour.

The city of Chengdu also felt the effects of the earthquake. The more than 21 million inhabitants are locked in their homes unable to move about due to the restrictions.

A human rights lawyer tweeted that lawyer Lu Si, who lives in Chengdy, fled downstairs when he felt the tremor. He asked, “If an earthquake occurs which is more important, block it and control it or prevent it?”

In response, he was beaten for his “inappropriate speech.”

The inhabitants of Chengdu still have etched in their memory the terrible earthquake they experienced in May 2008, when the earth shook at a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale, leaving a bleak picture and killing 68,000 people.

A video posted on September 5, by Twitter user Inty shows a group of firefighters arriving in Sichuan to begin rescue operations for earthquake victims. They are seen waiting in line to get the COVID detection PCR (nucleic acid) test before the rescue.

The comments on a social network exploded with indignant comments. things like it was absurd to have firefighters get tested when people were waiting to get rescued.

One person asked, “Is it necessary to carry out the nucleic acid test and wait for the result report to get into the ambulance and then give first aid?”

The results of the tests can take 24 hours, but sometimes it even several days, depending on how long it takes for the sample to reach the lab and the amount of testing to be done.

Signs in the sky

Before the earthquake in Mianzhu city, Sichuan province, a very striking event occurred. The night sky grew even darker as thousands of bats densely filled the sky.

Internet users captured the image in photos circulating them on the networks.

The event amazed the locals for the sheer number and various explanations that circulated on social networks.

People wondered if it was some kind of omen and worried that such a large colony all flying together was unnatural.

The authorities tried to rationalize what happened, explaining that it is normal.

The Chinese have always taken into account the signs that nature gives us.

On September 3 in Fuzhou, Fujian province, a huge black cloud covered the city sky. Astonished, people commented that they had never seen anything like it.

Months before, in May, inhabitants saw how the sky was covered in a red tone, a symbol of bad omen.

Suffering is piling up

Calamities have been hitting China very frequently in recent months.

Record floods between January and June in several regions brought about the destruction of vast stretches of crops. Endangering the food supplies.

“Floods and hail storms were the main natural disasters in China, while droughts, freezing weather, earthquakes, snow disasters, and forest and grass fires also occurred to varying degrees,” Shen Zhanli, spokesman for the Ministry of Emergency Management.

China lost 88.81 billion yuan, or about $12.95 billion, to natural disasters in the first half of 2022 alone. 

The COVID pandemic, which began in Wuhan in 2019, gave the CCP the opportunity to show the world how its totalitarian system was capable of controlling the virus, and its population, using the most rigorous measures in the world under its zero-COVID policy, which forced the lockdown in recent days of more than 70 cities and affected some 300 million people. 

While most countries have abandon the restriction measures as they try to live with the virus, the CCP is determined to follow its plans despite the enormous social and economic cost.

The regime’s network of censorship and repression worked tirelessly to prevent any criticism of its restrictive policies, which led to general discontent manifesting itself in various protests around the country.

According to Huang Yanzhong a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, “It has not yet reached a tipping point. Most people are still swayed by the government narrative about the need for zero COVID.”

Perhaps in this power struggle between the CCP and the Chinese people, the path and future of this great civilization of 5,000 years of history will be defined.

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