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Wenchuan County is a county in Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, People's Republic of China.

Wenchuan County

汶川县 · ཝུན་ཁྲོན་རྫོང་།
Street view of Yingxiu town, July 2005
Street view of Yingxiu town, July 2005
Location of Wenchuan County (red) in Ngawa Prefecture (yellow) and Sichuan
Location of Wenchuan County (red) in Ngawa Prefecture (yellow) and Sichuan
Coordinates: 31°28′37″N 103°35′24″E / 31.477°N 103.590°E / 31.477; 103.590Coordinates: 31°28′37″N 103°35′24″E / 31.477°N 103.590°E / 31.477; 103.590
CountryPeople's Republic of China
County seatWeizhou
 • Total4,803 km2 (1,854 sq mi)
 • Total106,119
 • Density22/km2 (57/sq mi)
 • Major nationalities
Han - 46%
Qiang - 34%
Tibetan - 18.6%
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
Postal code
Area code(s)0837
Wenchuan County
Chinese name
Tibetan name

The county has an area of 4,084 square kilometres (1,577 sq mi) and a population of 106,119 as of 2005.[4]

Wolong National Nature Reserve is a protected area located in Wenchuan County, which houses more than 150 highly endangered giant pandas. The Wolong Special Administrative Region is also located here.

The county was the site of the epicentre and one of the areas most severely hit by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, also known as the Wenchuan earthquake.[5]



The Qiang people have traditionally lived between the Tibetans to the north and the Han to the south. For centuries Wenchuan has been a place where ethnic groups overlap. The remains of defensive walls from the Three Kingdoms period (220-265 AD) and from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) are still visible on the hills above the town. Further back in the mists of history, legend has it that Yu the Great, one of China's famous ancestors, was born in this area, and a temple in his honour is situated near the Three Kingdoms wall remains. Other evidence of inter-ethnic encounters are the striking watchtowers and fortress-like style of some of the local Qiang villages, built high up on the mountain tops, e.g. the three towers of Buwa village are seen above Wenchuan.

Wenchuan earthquakeEdit

On May 12, 2008, an earthquake with moment magnitude 7.9 hit the Sichuan Province, with epicentre located in the town of Yingxiu, in Wenchuan county. The county was therefore one of the areas most severely affected by the earthquake. In Chinese, the earthquake is named after the county (the Wenchuan earthquake, 汶川地震), which made its name resonate across the nation. In the county, 15,941 people died, 34,583 were injured, and 7,474 were still missing as of June 6, 2008.[6][7] The seismic intensity was the highest, reaching level XI in the China Seismic Intensity Scale.[8] After the earthquake, the central government enforced stricter requirements for seismic design in this area.[9] The earthquake also caused many landslides, some of which remained active for years and generated destructive debris flows during the summer rainstorms, which increased the death toll and slowed down the reconstruction and recovery of the communities in the county.[5][10]


The rebuilt Wenchuan

Wenchuan County has six towns and eight townships:[11]

  • Towns:
  • Townships:
    • Keku (克枯乡)
    • Longxi (龙溪乡)
    • Yanmen (雁门乡)
    • Caopo (草坡乡)
    • Yinxing (银杏乡)
    • Sanjiang (三江乡)
    • Gengda (耿达乡)
    • Baihua (白花乡)




  1. ^ 现代汉语词典(第七版). [A Dictionary of Current Chinese (Seventh Edition).]. 北京. Beijing: 商务印书馆. The Commercial Press. 1 September 2016. p. 1376. ISBN 978-7-100-12450-8. 2 汶川(Wèn- chuān),地名,在四川。
  2. ^ 现代汉语规范词典(第3版). [A Standard Dictionary of Current Chinese (Third Edition).]. 北京. Beijing: 外语教学与研究出版社. Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. May 2014. p. 1378. ISBN 978-7-513-54562-4. 汶 wèn{...}2 用于地名。如汶川,在四川。
  3. ^ 夏征农; 陈至立, eds. (September 2009). 辞海:第六版彩图本 [Cihai (Sixth Edition in Color)] (in Chinese). 上海. Shanghai: 上海辞书出版社. Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House. p. 2389. ISBN 9787532628599.
  4. ^ (in Chinese) Profile of Wenchuan County, official website of Wenchuan County Government, visited on May 12, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Fan, Xuanmei; Juang, C. Hsein; Wasowski, Janusz; Huang, Runqiu; Xu, Qiang; Scaringi, Gianvito; van Westen, Cees J.; Havenith, Hans-Balder (2018-07-26). "What we have learned from the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake and its aftermath: A decade of research and challenges". Engineering Geology. 241: 25–32. doi:10.1016/j.enggeo.2018.05.004. ISSN 0013-7952.
  6. ^ "Casualties in Wenchuan Earthquake" (in Chinese). 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
  7. ^ "Death Toll in Ngawa Prefecture Rose to 20,258 as of June 6, 18:00 CST" (in Chinese). Official website of Ngawa Prefecture Government. 2008-06-07. Archived from the original on 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  8. ^ "Seismic intensity map of the M8.0 Wenchuan earthquake (汶川8.0级地震烈度分布图)" (in Chinese). CEA. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  9. ^ XU, Zhengzhong; WANG, Yayong; et al. (徐正忠、王亚勇等) (2001). "Code for seismic design of buildings (GB 500011-2001) (partially revised in 2008), Appendix A ( 《建筑抗震设计规范》(GB 500011-2001) (2008 年局部修订) 附录 A 我国主要城镇抗震设防烈度、设计基本地震加速度和设计地震分组)" (in Chinese). Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of PRC (MOHURD, 中华人民共和国住房和城乡建设部). Retrieved 2008-09-29.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Fan, Xuanmei; Scaringi, Gianvito; Yang, Fan; Domènech, Guillem; Guo, Xiaojun; Dai, Lanxin; He, Chaoyang; Xu, Qiang; Huang, Runqiu (2018-09-20). "Two multi-temporal datasets to track the enhanced landsliding after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake". Earth System Science Data. 11 (1): 35–55. doi:10.5194/essd-2018-105. ISSN 1866-3508.
  11. ^ (in Chinese) Profile of Wenchuan County, visited on May 25, 2008.
  12. ^ 中国地面气候标准值月值(1981-2010) (in Chinese). China Meteorological Data Service Center. Retrieved 20 October 2018.

External linksEdit