A television news anchor in southwest China has apologised after he gained online fame for calmly continuing a broadcast as a 5.1-magnitude earthquake shook the city of Xichang in Sichuan province.
“Wait, wait, don’t panic – let’s finish the broadcast,” He Kun, the news anchor at a Sichuan television station, was seen telling studio staff in a video widely shared online.
His calm demeanour made him an instant hit on Chinese social media.
“Sichuan people have become immune to earthquakes,” wrote one user on microblogging platform Weibo.
“No need to panic during small quakes, and you can’t outrun a big one [anyway],” wrote others, quoting a Sichuan saying.
No injuries were reported in the earthquake, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.
But the anchor later issued an apology during an interview with The Beijing News, saying people should always try to stay safe by dropping whatever they are doing and taking cover during earthquakes.
He told the newspaper he had not felt the tremor when colleagues raised the alarm, which was why he was so calm. He added that they had evacuated right after the video was shot.
The mountainous region where Sichuan is located is particularly prone to earthquakes because of its location between the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. Quakes in mountainous regions also trigger landslides and other hazards. In 2008, a devastating earthquake in the province’s Wenchuan county killed nearly 70,000 people and caused US$150 billion of damage.
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