Sichuan earthquake, 10 years on

Soldiers rescue a child from the rubble after the magnitude-8 earthquake in Beichuan, Sichuan province May 13, 2008. Photo: Reuters

Sichuan earthquake, 10 years on: how a tragedy changed China

May 12, 2008, 2.28pm. On this day a decade ago, a magnitude-8 earthquake struck southwestern China, tearing towns and cities asunder. Powerful shock waves erupted from the epicentre in Wenchuan county, spreading rapidly across Sichuan province.


On May 12, 2008, a magnitude-8 earthquake hit the Sichuan region leaving 87,000 dead, 370,000 injured and 5 million homeless. The quake-prone area has suffered many tremors since, including a magnitude-7 quake on August 8, 2017 which left 24 dead and 493 injured.