2008 Sichuan earthquake

2008 Sichuan earthquake

The 2008 Sichuan earthquake (Chinese: 汶川大地震; pinyin: Wènchuān dà dìzhèn; literally: “Great Wenchuan earthquake”) occurred at 14:28:01 China Standard Time on May 12, 2008. Measuring at 8.0 Ms, the earthquake’s epicenter was located 80 kilometers (50 mi) west-northwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital, with a focal depth of 19 km (12 mi). The earthquake was also felt in nearby countries and as far away as both Beijing and Shanghai – 1,500 km (930 mi) and 1,700 km (1,060 mi) away -where office buildings swayed with the tremor. Strong aftershocks, some exceeding 6 Ms, continued to hit the area up to several months after the main quake, causing further casualties and damage.

Over 69,000 people lost their lives in the quake, including 68,636 in Sichuan province. 374,176 were reported injured, with 18,222 listed as missing as of July 2008. The earthquake left about 4.8 million people homeless, though the number could be as high as 11 million.

Some scientists believe that the construction and filling of the Zipingpu Dam with 320 million tons of water over a well-known fault line may have triggered the earthquake.

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