10 Years Since the Devastating 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

On May 12, 2008, a magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck beneath a mountainous region in south-central China, toppling buildings and sending landslides crashing into cities, resulting in nearly 70,000 deaths. The 2008 Sichuan earthquake (also called the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake) became even more infamous for exposing the cheap and inferior construction methods used in schools across the region, which left thousands of children dead and injured. Ten years later, in hard-hit Beichuan County, most survivors have been relocated to new homes, which were built about 19 miles (30 kilometers) away from the ruins that remain in place today—slowly being reclaimed by nature.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

    Photos of the Week: Water Forest, Royal Barge, Abandoned Boxers

    A caged Nativity scene in California, the new prime minister of Finland, “big air” in Beijing, a volcanic eruption in New Zealand, Christmas lights in Philadelphia, and much more

  • Borut Zivulovic / Reuters

    A Visit From Krampus—Saint Nick’s Dark Companion

    While tales of Saint Nicholas feature him bringing gifts to good boys and girls, ancient folklore in Europe’s Alpine region also speaks of Krampus, a frightening beastlike creature who looks for naughty children to punish in horrible ways—or possibly to drag back to his lair in a sack.

  • 2019: The Year in Volcanic Activity

    Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava.

  • Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Wayward Tee, Pollution Pod, Windy Wall

    Christmas lights in New York City, fall colors in Japan, a sandy traffic jam in Miami, the Tactual Museum of Athens, a Santa run in Glasgow, and much more