China Earthquake Hits High-Tech Region
May 12th, 2008 By: Rich Miller
This morning’s major earthquake in China, which registered 7.8 on the Richter scale, affected an area known for high-tech development. The epicenter was about 55 miles northwest of Chengdu, where the Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone is home to facilities for IBM, Symantec and Microsoft. News.com updates the status of a large Intel facility:
On Monday, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said none of its employees in Chengdu were injured, nor was its facility damaged. The chip giant immediately evacuated its roughly 2,000 workers from the plant when the earthquake struck, Mulloy said. The plant has no power or water and is currently running on back-up power. Intel hopes to have the test-and-assembly center running again by Wednesday. “We are geographically diverse, so there is no near-term impact to the business,” Mulloy said.
The damage is clearly worse elsewhere, with the death toll at 7,600 and climbing. The other tech angle being discussed is the use of Twitter to aggregate early accounts of the earthquake. The microblogging service has been touted by many, including the Department of Homeland Security, as a useful communication tool in disasters.