Wednesday 10 July 2013

Great Sichuan Earthquake memorial destroyed by floods.

On 12 May 2008 the Chinese province of Sichuan was hit by a Magnitude 8.0 Earthquake, resulting in 69 197 known deaths, with a further 18 222 people never accounted for. At least five million people were made homeless by the event, with some estimates putting the numbers as high as eighteen thousand. Following the event China declared a three day period of mourning, and the town of Bichuan, close to the epicenter of the quake was permanently evacuated and turned into a 27 km² memorial  and museum to the victims of the quake.

Southwest China is currently suffering its worst flooding in 50 years, with unprecedented rainfall levels leading to lethal landslides, widespread flooding of towns and agricultural areas, and many buildings and bridges being washed away. Dozens of people are known to have died and many more are missing. Amid this news emerged today (Wednesday 10 July 2013) that the floods had reached the Memorial Zone at Bichuan, collapsing several (already damaged) buildings and sweeping away exhibits.

Floodwaters in the Memorial Zone at Bichuan, Sichuan, China. AFP/Getty Images.

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