Earthquake epicenter becomes patriotic education hub showing strength of China

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/15 18:18:39

Tourists visit the remains of the Xuankou Middle School in Yingxiu, Sichuan Province, which was destroyed during the Wenchuan earthquake 10 years ago. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Bustling streets, children rushing about and a colorful nightlife - life in the town of Yingxiu in Wenchuan county, Sichuan Province, looks no different from any other town in China except for the ruins and memorial sites dotting here and there that remain as a stark reminder to visitors of the region's tragic past.

Ten years have passed since the earthquake that struck the county on May 12, 2008, claiming the lives of more than 80,000 people. 

The past decade has witnessed enormous changes in Yingxiu, as it transformed from the totally shattered epicenter of the 8.0-magnitude Wenchuan earthquake to a flourishing and vibrant town again.

Streets are now lined with shops and hotels that give off a distinct local flavor and locals can be seen gathering together in the evenings to dance in public squares. 

Yingxiu used to be a prosperous industrial town that boasted a large number of restaurants, hotels and dance halls. However, most of these buildings collapsed during the quake.   

The reconstruction of the village of Yingxiu has attracted nationwide and international attention and participation.

For example, several well-known architects from home and abroad have participated in the rebuilding process, turning the town into a leader when it comes to earthquake-resistant architecture.

After the tragedy, the Yingxiu local government focused on developing tourism by learning from other places. Almost every household runs a shop, hotel or restaurant. The town has also become a base for patriotic education so young people can see how Chinese can unite to recover from disaster.

Through these efforts, now the town's roughly 10,000 residents welcome tourists from all around the country as well as from abroad every day. 

With its bustling recreation industry, numerous restaurants and shops selling souvenirs, the town has returned to the original hustle and bustle it possessed before the earthquake.

People queue in the rain to visit the Memorial Hall of Wenchuan Earthquake Epicenter in Yingxiu. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

A new bridge passes over the remains of a bridge destroyed during the Wenchuan Earthquake. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Young people dance the evening away in a disco in Yingxiu. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

A woman sells souvenirs in front of the Memorial Hall of Wenchuan Earthquake Epicenter in Yingxiu. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

An earthquake memorial near the remains of the Baihua Bridge in Yingxiu Photo: Yang Hui/GT

 Global Times
Newspaper headline: Recovering from tragedy

Posted in: IN-DEPTH

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