Wenyun Wang

As Interviewed by Aima F., March 15, 2019

Wenyun Wang: In Her Own Words

Wenyun Wang briefly describes her experiences with the 1976 Tangshan earthquake.

After learning how badly the earthquake damaged Tangshan, our government ordered mandatory evacuation. There were big tents set up on the open fields around our town. People in our community started to move in the tents. Each tent held so many families, and it was in the summer. It wasn’t fun to live there, a lot of chaos. I remember one morning when I woke up I couldn’t even find my shoes.

Since I was so young, I didn't remember much of the aftershock. My father said that we did experience a few aftershocks, but nothing serious. I just remember that I woke up once at night and worried too much to sleep because my father couldn’t stay with us in the tent. He stayed at home. My mom took my brother and me to live in the tent. My little brother always cried in the middle of the night, and my mom was anxious because my father wasn’t with us in order to take care of my grandma, and she had to take care of both me and my brother.

My father and my aunt had to take turns to stay in the home, because my grandma was in critical condition. There was no way to take a very ill person to live in crowded tent, and both my mom and I were very worried about them. Not long after we moved back home, my grandma died.