Na­ture needs time to re­cover af­ter earth­quake

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - 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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