(Natural Disasters in China)
The 2008 Sichuan earthquake or the Great Sichuan Earthquake was a deadly earthquake that occurred on Monday, May 12, 2008 in Sichuan province of China, killing an estimated 68,000 people. It is also known as the Wenchuan earthquake , after the location of the earthquake's epicenter,Wenchuan County in Sichuan province. The epicenter was 80 kilometres (50 mi) west-northwest of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, with a focal depth of 19 kilometres (12 mi). The earthquake was also felt in nearby countries and as far away as both Beijing and Shanghai—1,500 kilometres (932 mi) and 1,700 kilometres (1,056 mi) away—where office buildings swayed with the tremor. Official figures state that 69,197 are confirmed dead, including 68,636 in Sichuan province, and 374,176 injured, with 18,222 listed as missing. The earthquake left about 4.8 million people homeless, though the number could be as high as 11 million. Approximately 15 million people lived in the affected area. It was the deadliest earthquake to hit China since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which killed at least 240,000 people, and the strongest since the 1950 Chayu earthquake in the country. It is the 21st deadliest earthquake of all time.
Extent of tremors
* China (Mainland): All regions except Xinjiang, Jilin and Heilongjiang were physically affected by the quake. * Hong Kong: Tremors were felt approximately three minutes after the quake, continuing for about half a minute. This was also the most distant earthquake known ever to be felt in Hong Kong. The intensity reached MM III in Hong Kong. * Macau: Tremors were felt approximately three minutes after the quake. * Vietnam: Tremors were felt approximately five minutes after the earthquake in Northern parts of Vietnam. The intensity was MM III in Hanoi. * Thailand: In parts of Thailand tremors were felt six minutes after the quake. Office buildings in Bangkok swayed for the next several...