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Asia-pacific

One year on, the earthquake that killed 87,000

Video by Luke BROWN

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-05-12

On May 12, 2008, a huge earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale rocked the Sichuan province in southwest China. The country is still recovering from the disaster which, at the final count, killed some 87,000 people.

On Monday May 12, 2008, just before 2pm, an earthquake measuring a massive 7.8 on the Richter scale hit western China. Some 100,000 square kilometres were affected, mostly in the poor rural province of Sichuan in the southwest of the country.

 

 

In the days following the quake, Sichuan was rocked again by aftershocks. Whole mountain sides collapsed into valleys blocking the paths of rivers and forming huge "quake lakes", posing a new threat to the wellbeing of the battered population. The onset of the rainy season also bought with it the grim spectre of disease.

 

 

Entire towns were razed by the quake and left completely unrecognisable, save for fallen road signs. In the days after the quake, China mobilised 130,000 troops to the Sichuan province to assist in the search for survivors. Rescue workers came from Russia and even Japan to join the rescue operation and recover the dead.

 
 

 

 

 

Date created : 2009-05-11

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