Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County
Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County comes under the jurisdiction of Mianyang Municipality. It is very ethnically diverse and is located in a very mountainous area. Its Chinese name literally means ‘North’ (bei) ‘River’ (chuan). Its new county seat is located at Yongchang Town, and was built after 2008 Sichuan earthquake some 12 miles away from the old town.
Beichuan old town was hit hard by the devastating earthquake and 80% of the county's buildings are said to have collapsed, including Beichuan High School's two main buildings where more than 1,000 students lost their lives.
The county town, which prior to the earthquake had a population of 20,000, has been made into a memorial park, as the earthquake site has been deemed too vulnerable. The survivors of the quake have been relocated to Beichuan New Town, the former town of Yongchang
The earthquake also caused a landslide on Mount Tangjia, which dammed the Jian River and created the Tangjiashan Quake Lake. The lake was in danger of causing the dam to collapse and potentially flood downstream causing a catastrophe for the communities downstream, which exceed over a million people. On June 10, 2008, the lake was diverted through an artificially constructed sluice channel and flooded the evacuated town. There were no casualties.