Nature needs time to recover after earthquake

Updated 2017-08-14 10:01:38 China Daily
Photo taken on Aug 9, 2017 shows the scenic spot of Wuhua Lake in Jiuzhaigou county, Southwest China's Sichuan province. After a 7.0-magnitude earthquake jolted Jiuzhaigou county, staff members of the scenic spot started searching for the missing, paying close attention to the quake.

Photo taken on Aug 9, 2017 shows the scenic spot of Wuhua Lake in Jiuzhaigou county, Southwest China's Sichuan province. After a 7.0-magnitude earthquake jolted Jiuzhaigou county, staff members of the scenic spot started searching for the missing, paying close attention to the quake.

Jiuzhaigou County in Southwest China's Sichuan province has long been famous for its scenic wonders, and tourism is a supporting pillar of the local economy. Yet a magnitude 7 earthquake on Tuesday damaged many of the local scenic spots. The most famous of them, Nuorilang Waterfall, has almost "disappeared". Beijing News calls for patience to let nature itself repair the scenic wonders:

Nuorilang Waterfall is the widest waterfall of its kind in the country, as well as one of the few waterfalls formed by calcified stones. It took thousands of years for nature to form Nuorilang, yet it took only minutes for nature to destroy it.

While many voices online call this a pity and discuss the possibility of artificially restoring the Nuorilang Falls, the majority of experts have already expressed the opinion that nature should play the major role in repairing the wounds of Jiuzhaigou. We can repair the infrastructure, such as roads and tourism facilities, but we must refrain from intervening in the local ecological recovery process.

That requires the local governments and local residents to have patience, because the local economy will suffer from the loss of tourism revenues, and some local employees who live on tourism will lose their jobs. But they still need to give nature time to repair itself.

This is not the first time that an earthquake has destroyed scenic spots. After a magnitude 8 earthquake hit Wenchuan, Sichuan province in 2008, 68 of the 128 historical relics were destroyed, and it took several years to repair them. The case in Jiuzhaigou is more complicated because most of its scenic spots are ecological wonders, and the repair of them must combine both the ecological recovery and infrastructure reconstruction.

For that purpose, the local government needs to coordinate comprehensively among different agencies and departments and the public needs to have patience and wait for the natural wonder to recover. That's also a kind of courtesy to nature.

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