Five Years on, Sichuan Quake Survivors Struggle for New Life
   2013-05-13 06:47:48    Xinhua      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao

The old county seat of Beichuan, southwest China's Sichuan Province, is seen in this photo taken on May 12, 2013. Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of the deadly earthquake which havocked Sichuan on May 12, 2008. [Photo: Crionline]

Survivors on Sunday mourned victims of the 8.0-magnitude Wenchuan quake that struck southwest China's Sichuan Province five years ago, while they are struggling to embrace a new life.

In the worst-hit old seat of Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County, local officials, residents and primary school students offered flowers in front of a monument engraved with the moment of 2:28 p.m.,May 12, 2008, when the massive quake struck.

More than 80,000 people were killed or missing in the quake with its epicenter in Wenchuan County, Sichuan. Beichuan took up about one fourth of the death toll.

The Wenchuan quake memorial hall in Renjiaping, Beichuan, hosted about 15,000 visitors on Sunday. The memorial, which opened on Thursday, displayed more than 5,000 articles in addition to photos, videos and books.

"Over the past five years, survivors have often returned to the site to mourn their relatives," said Zhao Kaisheng, a county official.

The fifth anniversary of the Wenchuan quake came just about three weeks after a 7.0-magnitude quake hit Lushan County, also in Sichuan, leaving more than 200 dead or missing.


In the past five years, quake-affected families have been struggling to start a new life, although the psychological trauma remains in the depth of their hearts.

Liao Zhi, a dance teacher in Hanwang Town, Mianzhu, lost her legs and her daughter in the Wenchuan quake.

"I had planned to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair because of pains. But the support of my family and my love for dancing made me stand up again," she said.

She has since continued her dancing career with artificial limbs. "The quake woke me up and I found the significance of continuing my life."

Last month, Liao rushed to quake-hit Lushan and worked as a volunteer to help the affected residents. "I only hope everyone is safe and sound."

Villager He Xiantong's new home was built near the site of his devastated Donghekou Village, where more than 780 residents, including He's wife, were killed as the village was deeply buried under mountain rocks.

He opened a store after a park for the quake site was built, selling flowers and special local products to visitors. Whenever he has fresh flowers, he will always offer one bundle to his dead wife.

He built a new home and remarried one year after the quake. Later he bought a motorcycle and a van with loans for business.

He says he wants to make more money to return his bank loans and organize a wedding banquet for his son, who graduated last year from a college and found a job in Chengdu, the provincial capital.

The man said he "is trying to forget the quake pains little by little and looking forward to a simple life" with his new home.

On Sunday, 108 babies celebrated their birthdays in a temple in Shifang, Sichuan. They were all born in the temple after the quake.

Many families lost their only child in the quake. Some mothers succefully had new ones.

"Some quake-affected families have tried all means to have new babies. Some succeded even in their 40s, but some are not so lucky," said Zhang Xun, a doctor in Huaxi No.2 Hospital in Sichuan.

"We encourage them to give new births so that their pains will be allieviated," said Zhang, adding some mothers failed to beome pregnant again because of lingering psychological trauma. 

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  
More Photos

Special Stamp Set Issued to Mark 20th Anniversary of China's Internet Era

Beijing Party Chief Serves as Library Volunteer

Construction of Largest Radio Telescope in Progress in Guizhou

Beach Glows Blue at Night in Dalian

Ge You Receives Chevalier Medal in Order of Arts and Letters

Border Troops Receive Tough Army Training in Xinjiang

Most of Housing Reconstruction Work Finished in Quake-hit Ya'an

A Tattoo Revives China's Ancient Painting

Unit 731 Ruins and Sites of Japanese Army in Harbin

U.K. Artist Shows How Natural and Industrial Resources Should Interact

Chinese Buzzwords Popular on Urban Dictionary

Foreign Journalists Focus on Chinese Media and Economic Development

Meteor Blazes through Russian Sky

Prince William and Duchess Catherine Inspect Super Hornets at Amberley

78-year-old Grandma Gleefully Rides Roller Coaster for First Time

Navy Divers to Seek Entrance into Sunken S.Korean Ferry

Tulips in Blossom in Front of Capitol Building

NASA's Kepler Telescope Discovers First Earth "Cousin"

Putin on Televised Question-and-answer Session in Moscow

Four-way Talks over Ukraine Crisis Concludes with Agreement: Lavrov

Death Toll of S. Korea Ferry Sinking Rises to 14

In Pictures: Prince William and Kate's Visit to Australia

Search for Missing SK Ferry Passengers Continues

9 Dead, 287 still Missing in S. Korea Ferry Sinking

• A Gala of Vintage Cars in Qinzhou

• Blooming Tulips seen in Beijing's Zhongshan Park

• The Landscape of Nyingchi

• People of Miao Ethnic Group Perform Local Wedding Ceremony

• Tianjin Sees First YHA Hostel

• Suzhou Gardens Bring Natural Beauty to the City

• Peony Flowers Bloom in Jingshan Park

• Apricot Flowers Attract Tourists in Xinjiang

• High Temperatures Usher in Summer Fashion in Shenyang

• Ancient Chinese Sex Culture on Exhibit in Hong Kong

            claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. All rights reserved. Reproduction of text for non-commercial purposes only is permitted provided that both the source and author are acknowledged and a notifying email is sent to us. holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

• China
China News
Chinese Press
• World
Middle East
• Video
Culture Heritage
Beyond Stardom
Dynamic China

Life 360
Panoramic Sports
• Radio
Ways to Listen
• Business
Editor's Choice
Biz Photo
Special Coverage
• Travel
Editor's Pick
What's in
On the Road
• Showbiz
Chinese Films
Music & Stage
Art & Literature
Photo Gallery
Special Coverage
• Language Learning
Ask Pingping and Jules
Chinese Studio
Elementary Chinese
Pop Charts
English News
English Snippets