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China: Around The Nation

Xian diners flee restaurants amid tremors – leaving US$8,900 in unpaid bills

Thousands ran from shopping centre when quake struck neighbouring Sichuan, but very few have returned to pay for their meals

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 4:22pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 4:22pm

Restaurants at a shopping centre in Xian say they lost some 60,000 yuan (US$8,980) when diners felt tremors from an earthquake in the neighbouring province and abandoned their meals.

Thousands of diners ran from the complex when the magnitude 7 quake hit Sichuan on Tuesday night, leaving their meals unfinished and their bills unpaid at some 40 restaurants, News.163.com reported on Wednesday.

Tourists watching re-enactment of 2008 Sichuan quake when latest disaster struck

One of the restaurant owners, identified as Cao Jiandong, told the news outlet that 33 tables of customers at his restaurant had left without paying. Just three of those bills were later settled, leaving some 7,000 yuan in bills outstanding.

Cao added that it was understandable that people would put their safety first at such a time, but he hoped the diners would return and pay for their meals. “Restaurants need to cover our costs,” he was quoted as saying.

An official with the Xiaozhai Saige shopping centre also urged the customers to come forward and settle their bills.

The science behind the Sichuan and Xinjiang earthquakes

Tremors from the earthquake – which struck near the popular Jiuzhaigou National Park and killed 19 people – were felt elsewhere in northwest Shaanxi province, including the city of Baoji, state-run China News Agency reported on Tuesday. It said there was no damage to the Terracotta Warriors, a famous tourist attraction in the provincial capital Xian.