At least two chemical plants in the city of Shifang in Sichuan province have been destroyed in the quake. Hundreds are buried in the rubble at both sites. And —ominously?— from at least one of the plants liquid ammonia has been released into the atmosphere because of the destruction, according to Xinhua.net. The overall death toll, according to the Chinese government, is now at least 8600 and headed higher, possibly much higher. Remember that Chengdu, a provincial capital that not many foreigners have even heard of, has a population of 10.5 million. The population of New York, America’s largest city, is 8.2 million.