Four Years On, Epicenter of Sichuan Quake Still Devastated

August 24, 2012 12:48 am Last Updated: October 1, 2015 12:32 pm

Four years ago, large areas of Sichuan Province in southwestern China were devastated by a powerful earthquake: 80,000 were killed and 4 million were left homeless.

damaged roads from Sichuan Earthquake
The damaged roads from Sichuan Earthquake four years ago have been left unrepaired. (New Tang Dynasty TV screen shot)

Chinese writer Tie Liu (a pen name that means “Iron Current”) paid a visit to the most heavily hit area at the quake’s epicenter in Wenchuan County, and he saw scenes as miserable as they were four years ago.

Liu told NTD Television, a mainly Chinese-language broadcaster, that despite around $12.1 billion worth of donations to rebuild Sichuan, Wenchuan appeared about the same as it had right after the quake.

“I purposely spent eight days touring around the affected Tibetan area. The route began in Lushan then went to Tianquan, Luding, and Wolong, and then to Wenchuan,” he said. “Nobody bothered to repair the damaged road.”

“Even the police,” he continued, “told me to report on the situation because they have no channels to appeal to the government.” He said they told him the local authorities are corrupt, and only care about their own self-interest.

Many roads in the region are still so badly damaged that no vehicles can use them. The short distance between Baleng and Wolong took him more than 3 hours to traverse, Liu said.

The approximately 16-mile stretch of road “has been totally ignored over the past four years” since the quake struck, he said. “Driving was a scary and a dangerous affair,” he added.

“Any error on the driver’s part would lead to danger instantly,” he said, suggesting that the car would plunge into the nearby river or run into a fallen rock.

A local from Wolong who gave only her last name, Ms. Yu, said she hoped the media would shed light on the disrepair of the roads in the area.

“These [damaged] roads are everywhere,” she said. Drivers are subjected to “landslides caused by heavy rains that can easily wash away loose rocks.”

Liu noted that the damaged roads are not main ones and local officials do not care enough to repair them. The officials only care about vanity projects that can be viewed by high-level officials in the ruling Chinese Communist Party, he claimed.

Locals pushed Liu to gather information from locals and in turn, hand it over to officials in the CCP so they can do something about it.

These locals, he said, told him that corrupt officials in the region “diverted relief funds to purchase houses,” singling out authorities with the Department of Agriculture

Ms. Yu said many victims of the earthquake from Beichuan County still live in temporary shelters.

Read the original Chinese article.

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