Beichuan Earthquake China 大地震

video and photography by tripfabrik

This is a report about the Beichuan Memorial Site, based on the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China. When I visited Beichuan in April 2012, I spontaneously decided to make a short documentary report about this emotional place. Walking through the ruins of the old town reminded me of how weak and helpless us humans are when it comes to a natural disaster. The small town of Beichuan, which got struck by the 8.0 magnitude earthquake on 12th of May 2008 at 2:28 PM sits in the plains of a valley in northern Sichuan Province, bordering the Tibetan plateau to the north. It was the most seriously damaged town in the Sichuan earthquake, the disaster which killed around 70,000 people, left 19,000 missing, injured 375,000 and left more than five million homeless. 5,335 students were dead or missing. Of the survivors, it is said 4,000 were orphans. Beichuan lost half of its population and 70% of its buildings. Thousands of bodies are thought to be still buried in the remained ruins. The Sichuan earthquake affected more than 45 million people in 10 provinces of China. At least 15 million people were evacuated from their home. Estimated 5 million buildings collapsed and more than 21 million buildings were damaged . The Townships of Beichuan, Dujiangyan, Wuolong and Yingxiu were almost completely destroyed. The quake was felt asia-wide, in places such as Bangladesh, Taiwan, Mongolia, Nepal, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia. The old town of Beichuan is a terrifying and mind-expanding instance of the humans equation to the strength of nature.

blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (MTW 5.4)