Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
The earthquake ended as abruptly as it started. The earth stopped shaking after a little
over ten minutes.
Victoria and the children were huddling together with Ah Meow and the rest. It was the
first time Ah Meng felt afraid. Ah Meng had hidden itself in Ivana’s arms, looking fearful.
Li Du glanced at his mobile phone. Noting that there was still a signal, he heaved a sigh
of relief. This was a sign that the impact of the earthquake was not too huge.
Brother Wolf guided everyone to move towards the open, flat field. He said, “If the earth
shakes again, get down immediately and hold onto the hand of the person beside
Then he instructed Big Quinn and Godzilla to gather the pails. He said, “Go see if the
water supply has been disrupted. Fill the pails and bathtubs will water. If there are
ground tremors, the water supply might be cut off.”
Li Du called up the government public service hotline. However, the line was busy and
the call would not go through.
Not far away, they could hear the sirens of ambulances and fire engines. There was a
town to the west, and and it had probably suffered in the earthquake.
As the construction of their villa was of top-notch quality, the wallpaper had not even
peeled off the walls. There were just a couple of new creases on the wallpaper. A few of
the shelves had swung and some of the things had fallen down.
Hans was trying to connect to the internet, shaking his head as he did so. “There
connection is disrupted. I cannot access the 4G network, the reception is very bad.”
After some consideration, Li Du called up the JP Morgan Chase premium service
helpline. “Hi, I would like to ask about the situation in Phoenix. Was there an earthquake
The service representative responded quickly, “That’s right, Mr. Li. According to the
information we just received, the desert area in the south of Arizona experienced an
earthquake of 6.0 magnitude. The details of the situation are still unclear because the
epicenter of the earthquake was about forty kilometers from Phoenix, at an unpopulated
area of a desert.”
The VIP service of JP Morgan Chase bank was impeccable. The service staff related all
the information about the situation in a succinct and clear manner.
The damage from the earthquake would not be too bad. That was because the
epicenter was in the desert. The area they were in only experienced some disruptions.
After relating everything they knew about the earthquake that just happened, the client
service representative continued to provide Li Du with some knowledge of earthquakes.
The additional information included details on the geological makeup of Arizona, the
cause of the earthquake, the damage that it has caused, ways to evaluate earthquake
damage and other information on what to do during such events.
After that, the bank representative even transferred the call to a local expert in
earthquakes. The bank had managed to connect with the expert at very short notice.
The earthquake expert answered some questions and doubts Li Du had and reassured
First, the expert asked about the situation in their house and the vicinity. After learning
the location of their villa, the earthquake expert told him that there was no problem with
Li Di had not noticed this, previously but the house was not made from masonry.
Instead, it was based on a wooden structure, enhancing its ability to withstand
The expert told Li Du everything he had heard about the event and reassured him. He
advised Li Du to stay outside the house and refrain from driving the car to get out of the
area. He also told Li Du to wait for the government’s instructions. If he had any new
information, he would reach out to Li Du.
That expert had been so helpful not because he was kind. It was because he was
aware that Li Du was a very powerful man and wanted to take the opportunity to build a
relationship with him.
Just like Brother Wolf told them to do, the expert advised Li Du to store extra water just
To residents, the most crucial problem after an earthquake was the shortage of drinking
water. Water has long been scare in Central Arizona. Groundwater, the California water
storage, and the Colorado River have been the sources of water for the area.
After an earthquake, regardless of how much damage had been made to the water
pipes, the water plant would shut down the water supply for maintenance to minimize
Hence, they had to take extra steps to conserve and store water for keeping.
A few rounds of minor tremors followed the earthquake. However, the magnitude was
greatly reduced. Some shaking could be felt, but there was not much damage made to
However, Li Du and the group did not manage to store a large amount of water.
Perhaps there had been problems with the water pipes, to begin with. Godzilla only
managed to fill up one pail of water before it had stopped flowing out of the tap.
Fortunately for them, the problem of food and water was not dire. There was a small
river right in front of the villa.
Li Du and Hans went to the river for a look. It seemed like the earthquake had affected
the river flow as well. The normally clear river was muddy and half-blocked.
Brother Wolf glanced at it and said, “No problem. As long as there’s still water, it is good
He took a shovel and dug a hole in the sand near the river. Big Ivan helped him, and
together, they made a small ditch. The water from the river soon filled it.
At two places of the little canal, Brother Wolf used a piece of gauze to keep out algae,
garbage, and floating debris from the river.
Just like that, the water that flowed out became much clearer, no longer like the muddy
Wiping his perspiration, Brother Wolf said, “Let’s carry water back to the house. Allow
the ditch to self-precipitate first, only take a quarter of the water above, and do not touch
the water below.”
Not only had the phone reception remained unsatisfactory, but it actually changed for
Another strong earthquake came along a short while past two in the afternoon. The
house started to shake again and some of the windows broke.
Hans kept dialing out from his mobile. After a while, he finally got through. It was
unclear whom he called, but after he put his phone down, he said with a solemn look,
“We are spending the night in the yard today. Tomorrow we will leave this place and go
“What happened?” Li Du asked.
Hans replied, “There are supposed to be more serious earthquakes coming. This was
only like a prelude to the huge earthquake that will approach.”
Li Du said, “Don’t scare me. Arizona is not in the earthquake zones. Why would a huge
“California is not a quake zone either. However, have you forgotten about the damage
caused by the earthquake in 1994? Oh yeah, you were in China in 1994,” Hans
On January 17, 1994, an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 took place 35 kilometers
northwest of Los Angeles.
That comparatively moderate earthquake had caused a shocking economic loss, killed
62 people, injured more than 9,000, left 25,000 homeless, destroyed more than 2,500
buildings and seriously damaged more than 4,000.
In addition, several highways had been damaged in many places, some overpasses
collapsed, and eleven main roads leading to downtown Los Angeles and other areas
were forced to close.
At that time, the earthquake caused power and water outages in most of the
surrounding areas. About forty thousand homes had their water supply cut off and fifty-
two thousand had their power cut off. This had been a serious disaster.
After busying herself with the situation at home, Sophie wanted to go to the next town to
see if anyone was wounded and needed help. Her skills as a surgeon were most useful
at this time.
Li Du held her back, saying firmly, “It’s too chaotic during an earthquake. Don’t go. We
have paid the government so much tax, they should be responsible for such tasks.”
After an earthquake, safety and security levels would be terrible. There would be many
incidents of theft and robbery.
Sophie was very stubborn in this aspect of her profession, however. Holding onto the
cross that hung down her chest, Sophie said with conviction, “This is my calling, my
dear. If I give up my responsibility just because I am scared, God will not forgive me.
Neither would I forgive myself. In the future, I would not be able to look at a scalpel the
same way again.”
What could Li Du say to that? He waved his hands, signaling Godzilla and Brother Wolf
to protect Sophie. Those two were his strongest bodyguards.
At that moment, he realized the strength of his remaining bodyguards was insufficient
for himself. He would have to recruit more protection now.