Ancient Fenghuang, City of the Phoenix, Needs to Rise From Ashes After Disaster

    Fenghuang flood. ( flood. ( flood. ( flood. ( before the July floods. (Likablerodent/Flickr)Fenghuang, Hunan Province, before the severe floods in July. (Wikipedia)

    In mid-July, the ancient city and favorite tourist spot of Fenghuang was completely flooded by severe storms. The swollen river running through it resulted in over 50,000 being forced to evacuate their homes.

    Since then, there have been little to no reports on government-led relief efforts for this beautiful city, which is being considered by UNESCO for World Heritage Status.

    The city of Fenghuang gets its name from the mythical phoenix bird, which, in mythology, rises from the ashes to be reborn. That is fitting, because efforts to rebuild the sunken Ming Dynasty city of Hunan Province have begun.

    Though re-opened to tourists, the historic area obviously suffered significant damage. Recovery efforts have been under-reported, which isn’t surprising. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is usually criticized for it’s lousy relief efforts in disasters, with rescuers in bright orange jackets just showing up for the propaganda photo-op.

    From a foreign perspective, it is odd that China focuses so much on building new cities that remain unoccupied, to report higher growth rates, while relief and rebuilding efforts seem to be secondary, even if the town is a lucrative tourist location. On paper, China has money to help these communities.


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