We left our hotel in Maoxian (茂县) and headed towards Dujiangyan (都江堰).
The bus stopped to refuel and I saw a bunch of natives setting up shop to sell their produce. The tomatoes in the basket were massive!! It’s almost the size of my hand!
Also, the walnuts they were selling were freshly plucked from the trees! It was the freshest walnuts I’ve ever tasted!
As we moved along, we once again passed by the scenes of the earthquake area. Yes, it was very depressing once again.
As we passed a little town called Yingxiu (映秀), our tour guide pointed out the ruins of a collapsed school. It was very, very sad.
You can’t see it clearly from the photos as it was taken from our slowly moving bus. We didn’t stop to visit the place for time and logistical reasons.
Apparently, the school collapsed while there were teachers and students still in the building. As the damage in the region was too extensive, the local government decided not to prioritize the clearing up of the collapsed building as it is as they had didn’t have enough resources to excavate the bodies out. Besides, there was no way anyone could have survived in that building collapse.
As a result, they local government has designated the collapsed school to be a memorial of the victims of the earthquake.
Right beside the collapsed school are newly rebuild infrastructure to house the survivors. It was heartening to see that those people have a roof over their heads and a livelihood to move on from the earthquake. Definitely very emotional a journey.
A little further down the road from Yingxiu was the epicentre area of the earthquake:
While I stopped geography after ‘O’ levels, I love geography enough to still be able to remember what I’ve learnt in school about plate tectonics and the physics and chemistry behind it; though I must stress that I’m no geologist.
I could see that the whole area was practically defaced by that 8.0 earthquake. It was quite literally moving mountains and changing rivers. I could see that huge areas of the mountains bald of vegetation from the landslides and how all the mud that got swept into the river has changed its course. All in a few minutes. It humbles you once again that you are but a speck in nature.
Still, with every calamity brings out the best in people (well, most people anyway). The speedy reconstruction work to rebuild the lives of the survivors are heartening. It gives hope of a better tomorrow.