Shak­ing flus­ters Bei­jing trav­el­ers

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - Cheng Ning,

38, from Bei­jing, was vis­it­ing Ji­uzhaigou county, a scenic spot in north­ern Sichuan prov­ince, when it was hit by a mag­ni­tude-7.0 earth­quake at 9:19 pm on Tues­day.

Iwas rest­ing on a bed with my fam­ily in the Sher­a­ton Ho­tel in Ji­uzhaigou when the earth­quake struck. The bed shook vi­o­lently and the room trem­bled.

Feel­ing a lit­tle bit con­fused at the be­gin­ning but quickly re­al­iz­ing it was an earth­quake, I ran down­stairs with my wife and 10-year-old son.

Once we es­caped to an open area in front of the ho­tel, I saw other tourists stand­ing there. Some had been tak­ing a shower and car­ried bath tow­els from their rooms, while oth­ers were just wear­ing shorts. Ev­ery­one looked anx­ious and fright­ened.

Ho­tel staff mem­bers or­ga­nized things quickly and pro­vided bathrobes and quilts for us to keep warm.

Other inns around the area opened their doors and re­strooms and sup­plied us with blan­kets — which was emo­tion­ally mov­ing and also calmed our nerves. They de­serve a thumbs-up.

But some tourists from other prov­inces, es­pe­cially chil­dren, were still afraid to sleep or rest, re­peat­edly ask­ing what was go­ing on.

I es­ti­mate there were sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple camped out around our ho­tel.

My fam­ily and I ar­rived at Ji­uzhaigou on Mon­day. On Tues­day af­ter­noon we watched a pro­gram about the county. Iron­i­cally, it in­cluded a seg­ment on the heavy earth­quake in Wenchuan, Sichuan, in May 2008.

While watch­ing, I told my son how se­ri­ous the Wenchuan quake had been and gave him some knowl­edge about earth­quakes. How was I to know we would ex­pe­ri­ence one that night?

It was the first time I had ex­pe­ri­enced an earth­quake of that mag­ni­tude.

Af­ter­shocks hit the re­gions again and again through­out the night. But I felt safe as travel agen­cies ar­ranged for tourists to leave Ji­uzhaigou. Along the way we passed cars crushed by boul­ders that had tum­bled down the moun­tain — re­minders of the night that shook our fam­ily.

Cheng Ning told his story to Cao Yin of China Daily.

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