Background Info The Sichuan earthquake occurred on May 12 th 2008, and killed around 68,000 people, it was measured at 7.8 on the Magnitude scale, making it the strongest earthquake in the country since 1950 and the 19 th strongest earthquake in the world to date. After the worst of the earthquake there were several aftershocks measuring around 6.5 on the Magnitude scale, even 2 months after the main event. 80km from the epicentre of the earthquake was the Chinese district of Chengdu, the quake was also felt in nearby countries and in Beijing. This means that the earthquakes tremors were felt over 500km away. On 28 th May 2008 it was estimated that around 10 million people were and would be affected in the future, and that 5.5 million people would need alternative accommodation Capital City of China Epicentre of the Earthquake Chengdu, the worst affected area. Examples of countries the earthquake was felt in Mongolia India Kazakhstan Russia Pakistan Afghanistan Burma
Immediate Effects and Responses Schools Many schools in the Chengdu area were evacuated, however some students were killed and/or trapped in the rubble. An example of this would be in the city of Dujiangan, south-east of the epicentre, where The Juyuan Middle School collapsed. This resulted in 900 students being trapped and 50 dead. The final total of students who died as a result of the earthquake were around 9000. Shortly after the event cranes were used to move the rubble and attempt to find the few survivors. The Juyuan Middle School shortly after the earthquake. Individual's Homes In many homes electricity and means of communication were stopped. In many rural areas it took much longer to restore the power, however urban areas regained power much quicker. For families whose homes had been destroyed (around 7 million) 443,340 tents were provided as shelter. Buildings/Offices As a result of the earthquake 80% of all buildings within 100km of the epicentre were destroyed. Again emergency services responded by evacuation and aid.
Effects on Development The effects on development for urban areas was not as severe as they were in the more rural areas. This is because it took longer for aid to reach the rural areas, and therefore whilst other cities/urban areas were closer to beginning to redevelop others had not even begun to cope with the severities of the earthquake. Offices 1 year after the earthquake. As most schools in rural areas were destroyed in the earthquake it took a long time to rebuild them. This meant that the education of many of the young population suffered. Buildings and offices that were ruined during the earthquake took time and money to rebuild and redevelop links with international companies. This resulted in some workers being unemployed and existing companies losing money. Rural area 1 year after the earthquake.