Wenchuan Earthquake Case Study

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When the Wenchuan earthquake struck China on the 12th of May 2008 its shock and resulting aftershocks, landslides, mud-rock flows and barrier lakes affected more than 45.5 million people. 69,226 were killed, 17,923 went missing and another 374,643 were injured. The remainder were affected by job loss, homelessness, displacement and economic downfall as a result of the 5.36 million buildings that were destroyed and the further 21 million that were damaged. The disaster caused a direct economic impact of over US$125.7 billion across a spanning number of industries (U.S Geological Survey, 2008). The response to the earthquake had to be a methodical, multi-faceted and interdisciplinary effort, making it a particularly interesting case study for the multidisciplinary group of Hallmark students at La Trobe University. Soon we will travel to China to learn more about the disaster’s effects and how they were dealt with. This brief focuses on the way that government and social policy…show more content…
However, the government placed an emphasis on physical recovery and most of its policy was concerned with rebuilding houses and infrastructure (Huang, 2011). Due to the high rate of victims who experienced post-traumatic stress disorder following the disaster (Zhang & Ho, 2011) it is evident that some attention needed to be paid to the mental health of survivors. A study conducted at Sichuan University after the Wenchuan earthquake found that social support directly enhanced resilience and quality of life after the incident. It concluded that survivors of the earthquake would benefit from social policy detailing early intervention methods for mental health (Xu and Ou, 2014). Despite this, at the time immediately following the disaster no widespread policy for social support was put in to place to ensure the mental stability of

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