News / Asia

    China’s Quake Recovery Efforts Facing Challenges

    China’s Quake Recovery Efforts Facing Challengesi
    X
    May 13, 2013 2:55 PM
    China has spent billions of dollars rebuilding quake-struck cities and towns in southern Sichuan province following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Many of the worst-hit areas now have quake museums, and one key focus of recovery by local officials has been to focus on earthquake tourism. But the recovery model is not always sustainable, and rebuilding after so much destruction and loss of life remains a big challenge. VOA’s Bill Ide reports.
    China has spent billions of dollars rebuilding quake-struck cities and towns in southern Sichuan province following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.  Many of the worst-hit areas now have quake museums, and one key focus of recovery by local officials has been to focus on earthquake tourism. But the recovery model is not always sustainable, and rebuilding after so much destruction and loss of life remains a big challenge.

    More than half of the residents in the town of Yingxiu died in the Wenchuan earthquake. Now, tourist stands welcome visitors at the entrance to the rebuilt town along with a fleet of tour carts.

    "Before the earthquake, people mostly relied on breeding of animals and agriculture, but after the earthquake we saw huge damage in this area. Eighty percent of the foundations of these buildings were badly damaged, so now people here have to rely mostly on tourism for their income," said Ma Qunzhen, a guide and member of China’s Qiang minority.

    Ma says there has been a steep decline in visitors to Yingxiu, the epicenter of the Wenchuan quake, following last month’s earthquake in nearby Ya’An.

    Since the Wenchuan quake, Sichuan’s province has invested nearly a billion dollars to create more than 170 memorial sites across the quake zone.

    North of the epicenter in Hanwang, a former industrial center, the sheer force of the quake is even more evident.

    Some visitors come to see the destruction first hand. Others come to remember a vibrant city that is now a shell of its former self.

    Fu and his girlfriend Wu were students at the time the quake hit, and grew up in Hanwang.

    "Here on the higher floors there were homes. On the first floor there were many shops that sold clothes and food. There were Internet cafes. And next to that there were street hawkers with their stalls and over there was a market, before we used to buy groceries there," Fu recalled.

    Fu says that when he visits, he thinks of his classmates who died and what Hanwang used to be.

    "The change has been for the worse, it is not like it used to be. I have been living here since I was a child, and then because of the earthquake, many friends have gone away and moved," he said.

    In the new version of Hanwang, empty shops and homes line its wide streets.

    Throughout the quake zone, one does not need to look far to find newly built and empty homes.

    Even Yingxiu, which appears to be finding itself anew, but many homes and storefronts are up for rent.

    Ma Qunzhen says that to keep going, Yingxiu must keep looking forward.

    "You cannot be living in the past right? In the future, people will have to attract tourists to come here and stay, eat, tour and buy things," she said.

    Ma says few have left Yingxiu, in part because they have been living in the mountainside town for so long that they don’t want to live anywhere else.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora