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Sichuan Earthquake


13 years after Sichuan earthquake: looking back and moving on

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: WANG Jingyan 王婧言、REN Ziyi DavidEdited by: Robin Ewing
  • 2021-05-12

  The Young Reporter looks back at the Sichuan earthquake 13 years ago today. The magnitude-8 quake devastated the region, killed nearly 70,000 and injured close to 375,00. Almost 18,000 people are still missing. People all over China as well as in Japan, Thailand and the Philippines reported tremors. Now, more than a decade later, the psychological effects are still being felt but China is more prepared. May 12, 2008 -- 2:28pm “I felt the sense of shaking but at first I didn’t care about it too much,” said Wang Zhangling, who was in primary school in Mianyang, Sichuan when the earthquake hit. “The whole building began to shake heavily, and teachers shouted at us to run,” he said. Now a 20-year-old university student, Mr Wang said he remembered many classmates were crying as they rushed to the playground. Close to 16,000 died, thousands of them schoolchildren, and more than 100,000 were injured in Mianyang. Seven schools in the city collapsed. Long Zhengyin, now 51, said he remembered clearly the landslide when the quake struck the rural college he worked in as a security guard in Wenchuan county in Aba prefecture. “Dust blotted out the sky, and it was very dark,” he said. “The first thought in my mind was ‘I’m definitely going to die’.” Peng Sien, now 19, experienced strong tremors in Chengdu, 80 kilometres away from the epicentre. “I’ll never forget that moment when I ran downstairs in our kindergarten, holding one shoe in my hand,” she said, explaining that it was nap time when the earthquake hit.   The aftermath For a month, Mr Wang and his family lived in a temporary tent because of aftershocks that continued until June 1. Every night they placed an upturned beer bottle in front of the tent to alert them …