However, China suffers some of the world’s most seriousnatural disasters that occur with great frequency andintensity over vast areas, and with considerable losses.Along with climate change, the losses caused byearthquakes, snowstorms and ice hazards even totaled1000 billion Yuan in 2008.
ON May 12, 2008, a major earthquake hit WenchuanCounty in Sichuan Province.
Statistics indicate that it was China’s most destructiveearthquake in more than 60 years.
While causing huge life and property losses, thisearthquake destroyed many invaluable cultural properties.In the worst-hit area of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxiprovinces, 376 monuments under state or province-levelprotection, as well as 4,000 pieces of museum collection,were damaged.
The Qiang ethnic group is considered one of the oldestethnic peoples in China and regarded as a “living fossil”of Chinese civilization. Cultural heritage resources of theQiang suffered huge losses in the earthquake.
Great damages have been caused to the Qiang village inTaoping, Lixian County and the Qiang village in Heihu,Maoxian County, both of which have been included inChina’s Tentative List for World Heritage.