10 Years Since the Devastating 2008 Sichuan Earthquake - Global Photography

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.

©Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty

This picture taken on April 24, 2018, shows houses destroyed by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in Beichuan, Sichuan province, China. The city of Beichuan has been kept frozen in time since May 12, 2008, when a 7.9-magnitude earthquake killed some 87,000 people across Sichuan province.


©Jason Lee / Reuters

A statue stands at the site of a school destroyed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in the city of Beichuan, China, on April 4, 2018.


©Jason Lee / Reuters

A backboard stands at the site of Beichuan Middle School, which was buried by boulders in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, in the city of Beichuan, on April 4, 2018.

©Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty

Buildings destroyed by the 2008 earthquake in Beichuan, photographed on April 24, 2018.


©Wang He / Getty

The memorial site of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake at Xuankou Middle School, photographed on March 30, 2018, in Yingxiu, Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, China. The town was rebuilt a decade after it was destroyed by the 2008 earthquake. Now a large source of income for the residents of Yingxiu town is the development of tourism.


©Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty

Buildings damaged and destroyed by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in the city of Beichuan, photographed on April 24, 2018.


©Jason Lee / Reuters

A wedding photograph, seen through a window, hangs on a wall in an apartment, which was damaged in the 2008 earthquake, in Beichuan on April 6, 2018.


©Jason Lee / Reuters

The door of the surviving villager Wang Guocheng's dwelling stands among weeds at a minority village, heavily damaged in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, on a mountain in Wenchuan County, Sichuan province, China, on April 5, 2018.


©Wang He / Getty

The sun sets over a barbican on March 27, 2018, in Wenchuan County Radish village, Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province. This is a Qiang mountain village, which has a history of 4,000 years. After the May 12, 2008, earthquake, 226 houses were damaged and 42 people died.


©Wang He / Getty

Wang Guocheng, 54, from Qiang, looks at a model of Radish village on March 27, 2018, in Wenchuan County Radish village. The earthquake changed the water system, and the stockade was especially short of water. In 2010, the residents moved into their new houses. Now, residents derive income from the development of fruit planting and tourism.


©Wang He / Getty

Rapeseed in bloom in an abandoned quake-damaged building in Wenchuan County Radish village on March 29, 2018.


©Wang He / Getty

Wang Guocheng returns to his devastated home on March 28, 2018, in Wenchuan County Radish village.

©Jason Lee / Reuters

A bulb covered with cobwebs hangs inside a house in a minority village, destroyed in the 2008 earthquake, on a mountain in Wenchuan county on April 5, 2018.


©Jason Lee / Reuters

Abandoned shoes sit seen in an old dwelling in a minority village which was destroyed in the 2008 earthquake, on a mountain in Wenchuan County on April 5, 2018.


©Wang He / Getty

An old calendar lies on the ground beside thorns in the rubble of a devastated home after the earthquake on March 28, 2018, in Wenchuan County Radish village.


©Jason Lee / Reuters

The surviving villager Liu Guizhen, 95, sits in her old house, damaged in the 2008 earthquake, in a village on a mountain in Beichuan County on April 6, 2018.


©Wang He / Getty

A visitor to the memorial site of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake at Xuankou Middle School on March 30, 2018, in Yingxiu, Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, China.


©Jason Lee / Reuters

Zheng Haiyang, 27, a student who survived the earthquake and whose legs were amputated after he was rescued, mourns in front of a memorial for victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, next to the site of Beichuan Middle School, which was buried by boulders, on April 6, 2018.


©Wang He / Getty

A guide speaks to visitors at the Xuankou Middle School earthquake-memorial site on March 30, 2018, in Yingxiu.


©Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty

A building destroyed by the 2008 earthquake in Beichuan, photographed 10 years later, on April 23, 2018.


©Jason Lee / Reuters

Desks stand in the classroom of Beichuan Vocational Education Center, destroyed in the 2008 earthquake, on April 6, 2018.


©Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty

Earthquake-damaged buildings in Beichuan on April 24, 2018.


©Jason Lee / Reuters

A boy runs through the site of the destroyed Beichuan Vocational Education Center on April 6, 2018.


©VCG / ©VCG via Getty

An aerial view of the ruins of earthquake-hit Beichuan on April 5, 2018, in China's Sichuan Province.


©Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty

Police vehicles destroyed a decade ago still sit in Beichuan on April 24, 2018.


©Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty

A residential building destroyed by the 2008 earthquake in Beichuan, photographed on April 24, 2018.


©Jason Lee / Reuters

A visitor stands in front of the site of Beichuan Middle School, which was buried by boulders in the 2008 earthquake, on April 6, 2018.


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©Jason Lee / Reuters

A Buddhist person prays in front of the site of Beichuan Middle School, ahead of Qingming Festival or "Tomb Sweeping Day," in the city of Beichuan, Sichuan province, China, on April 4, 2018.




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