Wenchuan Earthquake Disaster Resilience in the Rural and Regional Cities – Case Study Example

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The paper "Wenchuan Earthquake Disaster Resilience in the Rural and Regional Cities" is a perfect example of a case study on environmental studies. The case study will be on magnitude 8.0 earthquake which occurred on May 12, 2008, and struck Wenchuan County which is located in the Sichuan province in China, which is about 80km from the provincial capital, Chengdu. China is not characterized by large earthquakes and the earthquake of this magnitude was unexpected in China. This essay will discuss the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, the argument that there is no such thing as a natural disaster in relation to the impacts of the disaster on the population. As a result of the earthquake, about 69,227 died, while 374,643 were injured, 17, 923 were reported missing and 4.8 million were rendered homeless.

The affected area can be approximated to be 440,442km2, entailing one autonomous region and three provinces. However, people living as far as Beijing also felt the quack. This quake is regarded as the deadliest and the strongest which hit China since 1976 (State Council Information Office of the People’ s Republic of China, 2008). According to Comerio, (1997, p.

165), there are about four key aspects in the making of disasters that are together simultaneously social and natural. However, it is important to point out that the causes are the key natural part of the tragedy. For instance, the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake was caused by two northwest-dipping surface ruptures on the Longmenshan thrust nappe tectonic zone which is on the Tibetan plateau eastern edge: the Guanxian-Jiangyou and Beichuan-Yingxiu rupture, which both imbricate thrust faults that produced falling waters, cracks, earthquakes and other forms of ruptures that ran north along the central faults to regions such as Muyu and Qingchuan, hence forming a distinct and continuous rupture zone.

The key aspects will support the argument that the disaster was not entirely natural as human actions such as lack of preparedness and poor structures were partly responsible for the huge loss of lives and property damage. Hence the impacts of the disaster, which will be discussed in the paragraphs that follow will be based on the same. Scholars need to be careful with the term natural that gives the suggestion that disaster is not a human phenomenon and that it is only the process of hydrosphere, lithosphere or atmosphere (Wang et al, 2009, 445).

However, Dunford (2011, p. 40) in his argument points out that a natural disaster has a close connection with human action. Despite, natural phenomena being the main causes of natural disasters, it cannot be argued that they are responsible for the disastrous events for the exposed population created by the events.  

References

Asian Development Bank (ADB). (2008). People’s Republic of China: Providing emergency

response to Sichuan earthquake. ADB Technical assistance Consultant’s Report,

Project 42150. Manila: ADB.

Chang, Y. et al (2011). An integrated approach: managing resources for post-disaster reconstruction. Oxford: Blackwell publishing.

Comerio, M.C. (1997) ‘Housing issues after disasters’. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management.5(3). pp. 166–178.

Department of Education, Sichuan province (2009). 5335 students were confirmed dead or missing in Wenchuan earthquake by May 7, 2009. http://www.gov.cn/jrzg/2009- 05/07/content_1306695.htm. Accessed Sep 19, 2013.

Dunford, M. (2011) earthquake construction in Wenchuan: assessing the state overall plan and addressing the forgotten phase. Applied geography 31-998-1009. Retrieved from journal homepage:www.elsevier.com/locarte/apgog.

State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China (2008). Latest Developments of Wenchuan Earthquake Relief September 25, 2008. http://www.scio.gov.cn/zxbd/wz/200905/t310218.htm. Accessed sep 18, 2013.

Wang, L et al (2009).Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder among adult survivors three months after the Sichuan earthquake in china. Journal of traumatic stress vol.22, 5.pp 444-450.

Watts, J. (2008). “Sichuan quake: China’s earthquake reconstruction to cost $150bn,” The Guardian, August 15. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/15/chi- naearthquake.china.

Xinhua News Agency (2008). “China Quake Death Toll Remains Un-changed at 69,226,” www.china-view.cn, August 25.

Zhobao, J, (2010). Mental health and quality of survey among child survivors of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Qual life Res, 19:1381-1391.

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