Beichuan

Posted on July 15, 2013

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The recent severe flooding that is once again testing the resilience of the people of Sichuan province and other parts of China brought to mind a visit to Beichuan some months ago.

Beichuan, as many of you will recall, in 2008 was near the epicenter of one of the most powerful earthquakes ever experienced in China. The city is now uninhabitable. Some buildings are propped up; others are listing; while others still have collapsed. The survivors have been resettled into a new city nearby.

March 2013 Visit to Beichuan

March 2013 Beichuan

Beichuan had just recently been opened to visitors when we arrived. There is an eerie silence that belies the emotions a visitor feels at the thought and reality of so many people losing their lives and the power of nature to change the rules in an instant. It also evokes a kinship between the people of the United States and the Chinese people as the US has its share of disasters in the forms of storms, earthquakes, and fires.

July 2013 Beichuan Memorial
March 2013 Beichuan Memorial

A memorial has been built at the center of Beichuan that simply reads 2008 / 5.12. I laid flowers at the center of the memorial on behalf of our firm to honor the victims and the courage of the Chinese people. My client did the same. Our flowers joined those of many who came before us.  It was deeply moving and humbling to be there.  

A few days ago, China Daily carried an incredible picture of the building (front center of picture below) which was a hotel before the earthquake and is situated right near the river with floodwaters raging past. My heart goes out to the people of Sichuan province.

Beichuan Flooding 2013
Beichuan Flooding July 2013 – From China Daily           

The Hong Kong Red Cross has been very active in relief efforts.  The following is a link to a report of their activities: http://reliefweb.int/report/china/china-floods-2013-work-report-2.  For those of you wishing to donate, there are links you can follow on their website.

Posted in: Asia, North America