The Pain of China's Devastating Earthquake, 5 Years Later

The Sichuan earthquake killed more than 70,000 people, and an additional 18,000 are still listed as missing.

Image
Reuters

This month marks an unfortunate anniversary -- five years ago, the Sichuan earthquake struck, killing more than 70,000. An additional 18,000 are still listed as missing.

Many towns were basically demolished, like Beichuan, where dozens of massive buildings toppled or collapsed. Those that remained were stabilized and converted into a town-wide memorial. Below are some photos of the region. See other shots over at The Atlantic's In Focus blog.

An aerial view of the ruins of Beichuan, viewed on Google Earth.
An ethnic Qiang man carrying a basket of grass walks towards his home in Luobo village in Wenchuan county, Sichuan province May 9, 2013. The entire Luobo village was reconstructed after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in 2008 killed nearly 70,000 people in Sichuan. (Reuters)
A child stands next to tents that serve as dwellings for local residents after the April 20 earthquake, in Longmen township of Lushan county, Sichuan province April 27, 2013. The earthquake has left 196 dead, 21 missing and more than 11,000 injured, according to Xinhua News Agency. (Reuters)
Children gather around cakes on a table as they celebrate their birthdays at a temple in Shifang, Sichuan province, on May 12, 2013. According to local reports, the children were born shortly after May 12, 2008, the time the Wenchuan Earthquake struck. A Buddhist abbot took in 108 pregnant women in his temple, and helped them deliver their children. On the fifth anniversary of the earthquake, the children came back to celebrate their birthday as well as expressing their gratitude to the temple. (Reuters/China Daily)

About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.