2008 Sichuan earthquake
A collapsed residential block in Wenchuan being bulldozed in the aftermath of the earthquake; exposed mountain faces can be seen in the background.
Location of epicenter in the Sichuan province
|UTC time||2008-05-12 06:28:01|
|Local date||May 12, 2008|
|Local time||14:28:01 CST|
|Magnitude||8.0 Ms , 7.9 Mw|
|Depth||19 km (12 mi)|
|Total damage||$150 billion (2008 USD)|
|Max. intensity||XI (Extreme)|
|Aftershocks||149 to 284 major, over 42,719 total|
The 2008 Sichuan earthquake (Chinese: 汶川大地震; pinyin: Wènchuān dà dìzhèn; lit.: 'Great Wenchuan earthquake'), also known as the Great Sichuan earthquake or Wenchuan earthquake, occurred at 14:28:01 China Standard Time on May 12, 2008. Measuring at 8.0 Ms (7.9 Mw), the earthquake's epicenter was located 80 kilometres (50 mi) west-northwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital, with a focal depth of 19 km (12 mi). The earthquake ruptured the fault for over 240 km (150 mi), with surface displacements of several meters. The earthquake was also felt in nearby countries and as far away as both Beijing and Shanghai—1,500 and 1,700 km (930 and 1,060 mi) away, respectively—where office buildings swayed with the tremor. Strong aftershocks, some exceeding 6 Ms, continued to hit the area up to several months after the main shock, causing further casualties and damage. The earthquake also caused the largest number of geohazards ever recorded, including about 200,000 landslides and more than 800 quake lakes distributed over an area of 110,000 km2 (42,000 sq mi).
Over 69,000 people lost their lives in the quake, including 68,636 in Sichuan province. 374,176 were reported injured, with 18,222 listed as missing as of July 2008. The geohazards triggered by the earthquake are thought to be responsible for at least one third of the death toll. 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 in the country since the 1950 Chayu earthquake, which registered at 8.5 on the Richter magnitude scale. It is the 18th deadliest earthquake of all time. On November 6, 2008, the central government announced that it would spend 1 trillion RMB (about US$146.5 billion) over the next three years to rebuild areas ravaged by the earthquake, as part of the Chinese economic stimulus program.
According to a study by the China Earthquake Administration (CEA), the earthquake occurred along the Longmenshan Fault, a thrust structure along the border of the Indo-Australian Plate and Eurasian Plate. Seismic activities concentrated on its mid-fracture (known as Yingxiu-Beichuan fracture). The rupture lasted close to 120 seconds, with the majority of energy released in the first 80 seconds. Starting from Wenchuan, the rupture propagated at an average speed of 3.1 km/s (6,900 mph), 49° toward north east, rupturing a total of about 300 km (190 mi). Maximum displacement amounted to nine metres (30 ft). The focus was deeper than 10 km (6.2 mi).
In a United States Geological Survey (USGS) study, preliminary rupture models of the earthquake indicated displacement of up to nine metres (30 ft) along a fault approximately 240 km (150 mi) long by 20 km (12 mi) deep. The earthquake generated deformations of the surface greater than three metres (9.8 ft) and increased the stress (and probability of occurrence of future events) at the northeastern and southwestern ends of the fault. On May 20, USGS seismologist Tom Parsons warned that there is "high risk" of a major M>7 aftershock over the next couple weeks or months.
Japanese seismologist Yuji Yagi at the University of Tsukuba said that the earthquake occurred in more than 1 stage: "The 250-kilometre (155 mi) Longmenshan Fault tore in two sections, the first one ripping about 6.5 metres (7 yd) followed by a second one that sheared 3.5 metres (4 yd)." His data also showed that the earthquake lasted about two minutes and released 30 times the energy of the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995 in Japan, which killed over 6,000 people. He pointed out that the shallowness of the epicenter and the density of population greatly increased the severity of the earthquake. Teruyuki Kato, a seismologist at the University of Tokyo, said that the seismic waves of the quake traveled a long distance without losing their power because of the firmness of the terrain in central China. According to reports from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, the earthquake tremors lasted for "about two or three minutes".
The extent of the earthquake and after shock-affected areas lying north-east, along the Longmen Shan fault.
The Longmen Shan Fault System is situated in the eastern border of the Tibetan Plateau and contains several faults. This earthquake ruptured at least two imbricate structures in Longmen Shan Fault System, i.e. the Beichuan Fault and the Guanxian–Anxian Fault. In the epicentral area, the average slip in Beichuan Fault was about 3.5 metres (11 ft) vertical, 3.5 metres (11 ft) horizontal-parallel to the fault, and 4.8 metres (16 ft) horizontal-perpendicular to the fault. In the area about 30 kilometres (19 mi) northeast of the epicenter, the surface slip on Beichuan Fault was almost purely dextral strike-slip up to about three metres (9.8 ft), while the average slip in Guanxian–Anxian Fault was about two metres (6.6 ft) vertical and 2.3 metres (7.5 ft) horizontal.
According to CEA:
"The energy source of the Wenchuan earthquake and Longmenshan's southeast push came from the strike of the Indian Plate onto the Eurasian Plate and its northward push. The inter-plate relative motion caused large scale structural deformation inside the Asian continent, resulting in a thinning crust of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the uplift of its landscape and an eastward extrude. Near the Sichuan Basin, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau's east-northward movement meets with strong resistance from the South China Block, causing a high degree of stress accumulation in the Longmenshan thrust formation. This finally caused a sudden dislocation in the Yingxiu-Beichuan fracture, leading to the violent earthquake of Ms 8.0."
The earthquake occurred as the result of motion on a northeast striking reverse fault or thrust fault on the northwestern margin of the Sichuan Basin. The earthquake’s epicenter and focal-mechanism are consistent with it having occurred as the result of movement on the Longmenshan Fault or a tectonically related fault. The earthquake reflects tectonic stresses resulting from the convergence of crustal material slowly moving from the high Tibetan Plateau, to the west, against strong crust underlying the Sichuan Basin and southeastern China.
On a continental scale, the seismicity of central and eastern Asia is a result of northward convergence of the Indian Plate against the Eurasian Plate with a velocity of about 50 mm/a [2.0 in/year]. The convergence of the two plates is broadly accommodated by the uplift of the Asian highlands and by the motion of crustal material to the east away from the uplifted Tibetan Plateau. The northwestern margin of the Sichuan Basin has previously experienced destructive earthquakes. The magnitude 7.5 earthquake of August 25, 1933, killed more than 9,300 people.
The earthquake occurred 92 km [57 mi] northwest of the city of Chengdu in eastern Sichuan province and over 1,500 km [930 mi] from Beijing, where it was also strongly felt. Earthquakes of this size have the potential to cause extensive damage and loss of life.
The epicenter was in the mountains of the Eastern Margin of Qing-Tibet Plateau at the northwest margin of the Sichuan Basin. The earthquake occurred as a result of motion on a northeast striking thrust fault that runs along the margin of the basin.
The seismicity of central and eastern Asia is caused by the northward movement of the India plate at a rate of 5 cm/year [2.0 in/year] and its collision with Eurasia, resulting in the uplift of the Himalaya and Tibetan plateaux and associated earthquake activity. This deformation also results in the extrusion of crustal material from the high Tibetan Plateaux in the west towards the Sichuan Basin and southeastern China. China frequently suffers large and deadly earthquakes. In August 1933, the magnitude 7.5 Diexi earthquake, about 90 km [56 mi] northeast of today's earthquake, destroyed the town of Diexi and surrounding villages, and caused many landslides, some of which dammed the rivers.
Intensities and damage area
The map of earthquake intensity published by CEA after surveying 500,000 km2 (190,000 sq mi) of the affected area shows a maximum liedu of XI on the China Seismic Intensity Scale (CSIS), described as "very destructive" on the European Macroseismic Scale (EMS) from which CSIS drew reference. (USGS, using the Modified Mercalli intensity scale (CC), also placed maximum intensity at XI, "extreme".) Two south-west-north-east stripes of liedu XI are centered around Yingxiu, Wenchuan (the town closest to the epicenter of the main quake) and Beichuan (the town repeatedly struck by strong aftershocks including one registering Ms 6.1 on August 1, 2008), both in Sichuan Province, occupying a total of 2,419 km2 (934 sq mi). The Yingxiu liedu-XI zone is about 66 km (41 mi) long and 20 km (12 mi) wide along Wenchuan–Dujiangyan–Pengzhou; the Beichuan liedu-XI zone is about 82 km (51 mi) long and 15 km (9.3 mi) wide along An County–Beichuan–Pingwu. The area with liedu X (comparable to X on EMS, "destructive" and X on MM, "disastrous") spans 3,144 km2 (1,214 sq mi). The area affected by earthquakes exceeding liedu VI totals 440,442 km2 (170,056 sq mi), occupying an oval 936 km (582 mi) long and 596 km (370 mi) wide, spanning three provinces and one autonomous region.
QLARM (Quake Loss Alarms for Response and Mitigation) issues near-real-time estimates of fatalities and number of injured for earthquakes worldwide. Recent alerts can be found on the web page of the International Institute for Earth Simulation Foundation. Such an alert was issued 21 minutes after the May 12 Wenchuan earthquake of 2008. It had at first been assigned M7.5, internationally. This initial underestimate of the magnitude is a known problem with earthquakes of M8 and larger. Based on the M7.5 information, QLARM distributed an email to about 300 recipients estimating that 1,000 to 4,000 fatalities had occurred. After learning that the earthquake may measure M8, QLARM distributed a revised estimate of 40,000 to 100,000 fatalities. This information was distributed within 100 minutes of the Wenchuan earthquake.
The news and official reports of fatalities are often strongly misleading. After the Wenchuan earthquake, officials led the public to believe for more than a week that the fatalities numbered only a fraction of what they really were (Figure 1). At the very beginning, everyone expects the news reports to be an initial count that will grow, not however, after one week. After such a long time, the false news reports take on a reality in their own right and the theoretical loss calculations by experts are discarded.
Once the extent of the rupture of the Wenchuan earthquake became known, QLARM calculated a more detail picture of the losses. Figure 2 shows a map of the expected mean damage of the settlements affected by the Wenchuan earthquake on a scale of 5. The resistance to shaking of buildings in large cities is assumed to be stronger than in villages, therefore the damage and percentage of fatalities in large cities is less than in villages.
Between 64 and 104 major aftershocks, ranging in magnitude from 4.0 to 6.1, were recorded within 72 hours of the main quake. According to Chinese official counts, "by 12:00 CST, November 6, 2008, there had been 42,719 total aftershocks, of which 246 ranged from 4.0 MS to 4.9 MS, 34 from 5.0 MS to 5.9 MS, and 8 from 6.0 Ms to 6.4 MS; the strongest aftershock measured 6.4 MS." The latest aftershock exceeding M6 occurred on August 5, 2008.
Damage and casualties
The earthquake had a magnitude of 8.0 Ms and 7.9 Mw. The epicenter was in Wenchuan County, Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, 80 km (50 mi) west/northwest of the provincial capital of Chengdu, with its main tremor occurring at 14:28:01.42 China Standard Time (06:28:01.42 UTC), on May 12, 2008, lasting for around two minutes; in the quake almost 80% of buildings were destroyed.
Extent of the tremors
Places ordered by distance from epicenter (or time of propagation) :
- Mainland China: All provincial-level divisions 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 minutes.
- Taiwan: It took about eight minutes for the quake to reach Taiwan, where the tremors continued for one to two minutes; no damage or injuries were reported. The intensity was MM III in Taipei.
- Mongolia: Tremors were felt approximately eight minutes after the earthquake in parts of Mongolia.
- Bangladesh: Tremors were felt eight and a half minutes after the quake in all parts of Bangladesh.
- Nepal: Tremors were felt approximately eight and a half minutes after the quake.
- India: Tremors were felt approximately nine minutes after the earthquake in parts of India.
- Pakistan: In parts of Northern Pakistan tremors were felt ten minutes after the quake.
- Russia: Tremors were felt in Tuva, no casualties reported.
Office buildings in Shanghai's financial district, including the Jin Mao Tower and the Hong Kong New World Tower, were evacuated. A receptionist at the Tibet Hotel in Chengdu said things were "calm" after the hotel evacuated its guests. Meanwhile, workers at a Ford plant in Sichuan were evacuated for about 10 minutes. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport was shut down, and the control tower and regional radar control evacuated. One SilkAir flight was diverted and landed in Kunming as a result. Cathay Pacific delayed both legs of its quadruple daily Hong Kong to London route due to this disruption in air traffic services. Chengdu Shuangliu Airport reopened later on the evening of May 12, offering limited service as the airport began to be used as a staging area for relief operations.
Reporters in Chengdu said they saw cracks on walls of some residential buildings in the downtown areas, but no buildings collapsed. Many Beijing office towers were evacuated, including the building housing the media offices for the organizers of the 2008 Summer Olympics. None of the Olympic venues were damaged. Meanwhile, a cargo train carrying 13 petrol tanks derailed in Hui County, Gansu, and caught on fire after the rail was distorted.
All of the highways into Wenchuan, and others throughout the province, were damaged, resulting in delayed arrival of the rescue troops. In Beichuan County, 80% of the buildings collapsed according to Xinhua News. In the city of Shifang, the collapse of two chemical plants led to leakage of some 80 tons of liquid ammonia, with hundreds of people reported buried. In the city of Dujiangyan, south-east of the epicenter, a whole school collapsed with 900 students buried and fewer than 60 survived. The Juyuan Middle School, where many teenagers were buried, was excavated by civilians and cranes. Dujiangyan is home of the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, an ancient water diversion project which is still in use and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The project's famous Fish Mouth was cracked but not severely damaged otherwise.
Both the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange suspended trading of companies based in southwestern China. Copper rose over speculations that production in southwestern China may be affected, and oil prices dropped over speculations that demand from China would fall.
Immediately after the earthquake event, mobile and terrestrial telecommunications were cut to the affected and surrounding area, with all internet capabilities cut to the Sichuan area too. Elements of telecommunications were restored by the government piece by piece over the next number of months as the situation in the Sichuan province gradually improved. Eventually, a handful of major news and media websites were made accessible online in the region, albeit with dramatically pared back webpages.
China Mobile had more than 2,300 base stations suspended due to power disruption or severe telecommunication traffic congestion. Half of the wireless communications were lost in the Sichuan province. China Unicom's service in Wenchuan and four nearby counties was cut off, with more than 700 towers suspended.
Initially, officials were unable to contact the Wolong National Nature Reserve, home to around 280 giant pandas. However, the Foreign Ministry later said that a group of 31 British tourists visiting the Wolong Panda Reserve in the quake-hit area returned safe and uninjured to Chengdu. Nonetheless, the well-being of an even greater number of pandas in the neighbouring panda reserves remained unknown. Five security guards at the reserve were killed by the earthquake. Six pandas escaped after their enclosures were damaged. By May 20, two pandas at the reserve were found to be injured, while the search continued for another two adult pandas that went missing after the quake. By May 28, 2008, one panda was still missing. The missing panda was later found dead under the rubble of an enclosure. Nine-year-old Mao Mao, a mother of five at the breeding center, was discovered on Monday, her body crushed by a wall in her enclosure. Panda keepers and other workers placed her remains in a small wooden crate and buried her outside the breeding centre.
The Zipingpu Hydropower Plant located 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of the epicenter was damaged. A recent inspection indicated that the damage was less severe than initially feared, and it remains structurally stable and safe. However, the Tulong reservoir upstream is in danger of collapse. About 2,000 troops have been allocated to Zipingpu, trying to release the pressure through spillway. In total, 391 dams, most of them small, were reported damaged by the quake.
According to Chinese state officials, the quake caused 69,180 known deaths including 68,636 in Sichuan province; 18,498 people are listed as missing, and 374,176 injured. This estimate includes 158 earthquake relief workers who were killed in landslides as they tried to repair roads.
One rescue team reported only 2,300 survivors from the town of Yingxiu in Wenchuan County, out of a total population of about 9,000. 3,000 to 5,000 people were killed in Beichuan County, Sichuan alone; in the same location, 10,000 people were injured and 80% of the buildings were destroyed. The old county seat of Beichuan was abandoned and preserved as part of the Beichuan Earthquake Museum. Eight schools were toppled in Dujiangyan. A 56-year-old was killed in Dujiangyan during a rescue attempt on the Lingyanshan Ropeway, where due to the earthquake 11 tourists from Taiwan had been trapped inside cable cars since May 13. A 4-year-old boy named Zhu Shaowei (Chinese: 朱绍维) was also killed in Mianzhu when a house collapsed on him and another was reported missing.
Experts point out that the earthquake hit an area that has been largely neglected and untouched by China's economic rise. Health care is poor in inland areas such as Sichuan, highlighting the widening gap between prosperous urban dwellers and struggling rural people. Vice Minister of Health Gao Qiang told reporters in Beijing that the "public health care system in China is insufficient." The Vice Minister of Health also suggested that the government would pick up the costs of care to earthquake victims, many of whom have little or no insurance: "The government should be responsible for providing medical treatment to them," he said.
In terms of school casualties, thousands of school children died due to shoddy construction. In Mianyang City, seven schools collapsed, burying at least 1,700 people. At least 7,000 school buildings throughout the province collapsed. Another 700 students were buried in a school in Hanwang. At least 600 students and staff died at Juyuan Elementary School. Up to 1,300 children and teachers died at Beichuan Middle School. According to Tan Zuoren, 5,600 pupils were dead or missing from the 64 schools Tan investigated in the quake zone. Tan was detained after he published such a casualties number.
Details of school casualties had been under non-governmental investigation since December 2008 by volunteers including artist and architect Ai Weiwei, who had been constantly posting updates on his blog since March 2009. The official tally of students killed in the earthquake was not released until May 7, 2009, almost a year after the earthquake. According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the earthquake killed 5,335 students and left another 546 children disabled. Some parents believe the real figure is twice that officially cited. The executive vice governor of Sichuan Wei Hong said the student death toll is 19,065. Mr. Wei noted the toll was incomplete as the officials were still tallying the final number. In the aftermath of the earthquake, the Chinese government declared that parents who had lost their only children would get free treatment from fertility clinics to reverse vasectomies and tubal ligations conducted by family planning authorities.
The earthquake left at least 5 million people without housing, although the number could be as high as 11 million. Millions of livestock and a significant amount of agriculture were also destroyed, including 12.5 million animals, mainly birds. In the Sichuan province a million pigs died out of 60 million total. Catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide reported official estimates of insurers' losses at US$1 billion from the earthquake; estimated total damage exceeded US$20 billion. It values Chengdu, at the time having an urban population of 4.5 million people, at around US$115 billion, with only a small portion covered by insurance.
Reginald DesRoches, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Georgia Tech, pointed out that the massive damage of properties and houses in the earthquake area was because China did not create an adequate seismic design code until after the devastating 1976 Tangshan earthquake. DesRoches said: "If the buildings were older and built prior to that 1976 earthquake, chances are they weren't built for adequate earthquake forces."
In the days following the disaster, an international reconnaissance team of engineers was dispatched to the region to make a detailed preliminary survey of damaged buildings. Their findings show a variety of reasons why many constructions failed to withstand the earthquake.
News reports indicate that the poorer, rural villages were hardest hit. Swaminathan Krishnan, assistant professor of civil engineering and geophysics at the California Institute of Technology said: "the earthquake occurred in the rural part of China. Presumably, many of the buildings were just built; they were not designed, so to speak." Swaminathan Krishnan further added: "There are very strong building codes in China, which take care of earthquake issues and seismic design issues. But many of these buildings presumably were quite old and probably were not built with any regulations overseeing them."
Even with the five largest cities in Sichuan suffering only minor damage from the quake, some estimates of the economic loss run higher than US$75 billion,[deprecated source] making the earthquake one of the costliest natural disasters in Chinese history.
Strong aftershocks continued to strike even months after the main quake. On May 25, an aftershock of 6.0 Mw (6.4 Ms according to CEA) hit northeast of the original earthquake's epicenter, in Qingchuan County, Sichuan, causing eight deaths, 1,000 injuries, and destroying thousands of buildings. On May 27, two aftershocks, one 5.2 Mw in Qingchuan County and one 5.7 Mw in Ningqiang County, Shaanxi, led to the collapse of more than 420,000 homes and injured 63 people. The same area suffered two more aftershocks of 5.6 and 6.0 Ms (5.8 and 5.5 Mw , respectively, according to USGS) on July 23, resulting in 1 death, 6 serious injuries, the collapse of hundreds of homes and damaging kilometers of highways. Pingwu County and Beichuan County, Sichuan, also northeast of Wenchuan and close to the epicenter of a 7.2 Ms earthquake in 1976, suffered a 6.1 Ms aftershock (5.7 Mw according to USGS) on August 1; it caused 2 deaths, 345 injuries, the collapse of 707 homes, damage to over 1,000 homes, and blocked 25 kilometres (16 mi) of country roads. As late as August 5, yet another aftershock of 6.1 Ms (6.2 Mw according to USGS) hit Qingchuan, Sichuan, causing 1 death, 32 injuries, telecommunication interruptions, and widespread hill slides blocking roads in the area including a national highway.
Executive vice governor Wei Hong confirmed on November 21, 2008, that more than 90,000 people in total were dead or missing in the earthquake. He stated that 200,000 homes had been rebuilt, and 685,000 were under reconstruction, but 1.94 million households were still without permanent shelter. 1,300 schools had been reconstructed, with initial relocation of 25 townships, including Beichuan and Wenchuan, two of the most devastated areas. The government spent $441 billion on relief and reconstruction efforts.
General Secretary and President Hu Jintao announced that the disaster response would be rapid. Just 90 minutes after the earthquake, Premier Wen Jiabao, who has an academic background in geomechanics, flew to the earthquake area to oversee the rescue work. Soon afterward, the Ministry of Health stated that it had sent ten emergency medical teams to Wenchuan County. On the same day, the Chengdu Military Region Command dispatched 50,000 troops and armed police to help with disaster relief work in Wenchuan County. However, due to the rough terrain and close proximity of the quake's epicenter, the soldiers found it very difficult to get help to the rural regions of the province. Premier Wen ordered the People's Liberation Army by saying, "It is the people who have raised you. It's up to you to see what to do! Even if it means walking on foot, you must nonetheless walk in there anyways. (Chinese:是人民养育了你们, 你们自己看着办! 你们就是靠双腿走, 也要给我走进去)" However, PLA commander Guo Boxiong only listened to Jiang Zemin's order, neither Wen Jiabao's or Hu Jintao's. The first 72 critical rescue hours were wasted. The New York Times reported "the troops were unprepared to save lives in the first 72 hours, when thousands were buried under toppled masonry and every minute mattered."  
The National Disaster Relief Commission initiated a "Level II emergency contingency plan", which covers the most serious class of natural disasters. The plan rose to Level I at 22:15 CST, May 12.
An earthquake emergency relief team of 184 people (consisting of 12 people from the State Seismological Bureau, 150 from the Beijing Military Area Command, and 22 from the Armed Police General Hospital) left Beijing from Nanyuan Airport late May 12 in two military transport planes to travel to Wenchuan County.
Many rescue teams, including that of the Taipei Fire Department from Taiwan, were reported ready to join the rescue effort in Sichuan as early as Wednesday. However, the Red Cross Society of China said that (on May 13) "it was inconvenient currently due to the traffic problem to the hardest hit areas closest to the epicenter." The Red Cross Society of China also stated that the disaster areas need tents, medical supplies, drinking water and food; however it recommended donating cash instead of other items, as it had not been possible to reach roads that were completely damaged or places that were blocked off by landslides. Landslides continuously threatened the progress of a search and rescue group of 80 men, each carrying about 40 kg of relief supplies, from a motorized infantry brigade under commander Yang Wenyao, as they tried to reach the ethnically Tibetan village of Sier at a height of 4000 m above sea level in Pingwu county. The extreme terrain conditions precluded the use of helicopter evacuation, and over 300 of the Tibetan villagers were stranded in their demolished village for five days without food and water before the rescue group finally arrived to help the injured and stranded villagers down the mountain.
Persistent heavy rain and landslides in Wenchuan County and the nearby area badly affected rescue efforts. At the start of rescue operations on May 12, 20 helicopters were deployed for the delivery of food, water, and emergency aid, and also the evacuation of the injured and reconnaissance of quake-stricken areas. By 17:37 CST on May 13, a total of over 15,600 troops and militia reservists from the Chengdu Military Region had joined the rescue force in the heavily affected areas. A commander reported from Yingxiu Town, Wenchuan, that around 3,000 survivors were found, while the status of the other inhabitants (around 9,000) remained unclear. The 1,300 rescuers reached the epicenter, and 300 pioneer troops reached the seat of Wenchuan at about 23:30 CST. By 12:17 CST, May 14, 2008, communication in the seat of Wenchuan was partly revived. On the afternoon of May 14, 15 Special Operations Troops, along with relief supplies and communications gear, parachuted into inaccessible Mao County, northeast of Wenchuan.
By May 15, Premier Wen Jiabao ordered the deployment of an additional 90 helicopters, of which 60 were to be provided by the PLAAF, and 30 were to be provided by the civil aviation industry, bringing the total number of aircraft deployed in relief operations by the air force, army, and civil aviation to over 150, resulting in the largest non-combat airlifting operation in People's Liberation Army history.
Beijing accepted the aid of the Tzu Chi Foundation from Taiwan late on May 13. Tzu Chi was the first force from outside the People's Republic of China to join the rescue effort. China stated it would gratefully accept international help to cope with the quake.
A direct chartered cargo flight was made by China Airlines from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport sending some 100 tons of relief supplies donated by the Tzu Chi Foundation and the Red Cross Society of Taiwan to the affected areas. Approval from mainland Chinese authorities was sought, and the chartered flight departed Taipei at 17:00 CST, May 15 and arrived in Chengdu by 20:30 CST. A rescue team from the Red Cross in Taiwan was also scheduled to depart Taipei on a Mandarin Airlines direct chartered flight to Chengdu at 15:00 CST on May 16.
Francis Marcus of the International Federation of the Red Cross praised the Chinese rescue effort as "swift and very efficient" in Beijing on Tuesday. But he added the scale of the disaster was such that "we can't expect that the government can do everything and handle every aspect of the needs". The Economist noted that China reacted to the disaster "rapidly and with uncharacteristic openness", contrasting it with Burma's secretive response to Cyclone Nargis, which devastated that country 10 days before the earthquake.
On May 16, rescue groups from South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Russia and Taiwan arrived to join the rescue effort. The United States shared some of its satellite images of the quake-stricken areas with Chinese authorities. During the weekend, the US sent into China two U.S. Air Force C-17's carrying supplies, which included tents and generators. Xinhua had reported a total of more than 100,000 Chinese troops, medics, and volunteers from other provinces that were involved in the rescue effort across 58 counties and cities in Sichuan.
The Internet was extensively used for passing information to aid rescue and recovery efforts. For example, the official news agency Xinhua set up an online rescue request center in order to find the blind spots of disaster recovery. After knowing that rescue helicopters had trouble landing into the epicenter area in Wenchuan, a student proposed a landing spot online and it was chosen as the first touchdown place for the helicopters[failed verification]. Volunteers also set up several websites to help store contact information for victims and evacuees. On May 31, a rescue helicopter carrying earthquake survivors and crew members crashed in fog and turbulence in Wenchuan county. No-one survived.
Rescue efforts performed by the Chinese government were praised by western media, especially in comparison with Myanmar's blockage of foreign aid during Cyclone Nargis, as well as China's previous performance during the 1976 Tangshan earthquake. China's openness during the media coverage of the Sichuan earthquake led a professor at the Peking University to say, "This is the first time [that] the Chinese media has lived up to international standards". Los Angeles Times praised China's media coverage of the quake of being "democratic".
As a result of the earthquake and the many strong aftershocks, many rivers became blocked by large landslides, which resulted in the formation of "quake lakes" behind the blockages; these massive amounts of water were pooling up at a very high rate behind the natural landslide dams and it was feared that the blockages would eventually crumble under the weight of the ever-increasing water mass, potentially endangering the lives of millions of people living downstream. As of May 27, 2008, 34 lakes had formed due to earthquake debris blocking and damming rivers, and it was estimated that 28 of them were still of potential danger to the local people. Entire villages had to be evacuated because of the resultant flooding.
The most precarious of these quake-lakes was the one located in the extremely difficult terrain at Mount Tangjia in Beichuan County, Sichuan, accessible only by foot or air; an Mi-26T heavy lift helicopter belonging to the China Flying Dragon Special Aviation Company was used to bring heavy earthmoving tractors to the affected location. This operation was coupled with the work done by PLAAF Mi-17 helicopters bringing in PLA engineering corps, explosive specialists and other personnel to join 1,200 soldiers who arrived on site by foot. Five tons of fuel to operate the machinery was airlifted to the site, where a sluice was constructed to allow the safe discharge of the bottle-necked water. Downstream, more than 200,000 people were evacuated from Mianyang by June 1 in anticipation of the dam bursting.
The State Council declared a three-day period of national mourning for the quake victims starting from May 19, 2008; the PRC's National Flag and Regional Flags of Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions flown at half mast. It was the first time that a national mourning period had been declared for something other than the death of a state leader, and many have called it the biggest display of mourning since the death of Mao Zedong. At 14:28 CST on May 19, 2008, a week after the earthquake, the Chinese public held a moment of silence. People stood silent for three minutes while air defense, police and fire sirens, and the horns of vehicles, vessels and trains sounded. Cars and trucks on Beijing's roads also came to a halt. People spontaneously burst into cheering "Zhongguo jiayou!" (Let's go, China!) and "Sichuan jiayou" (Let's go, Sichuan!) afterwards.
The Ningbo Organizing Committee of the Beijing Olympic torch relay announced that the relay, scheduled to take place in Ningbo during national mourning, would be suspended for the duration of the mourning period. The route of the torch through the country was scaled down, and there was a minute of silence when the next leg started in city of Ruijin, Jiangxi on the Wednesday after the quake.
Many websites converted their home page to black and white; Sina.com and Sohu, major internet portals, limited their homepages to news items and removed all advertisements. Chinese video sharing websites Youku and Tudou displayed a black background and placed multiple videos showing earthquake footage and news reports. The Chinese version of MSN, cn.msn.com, also displayed banner ads about the earthquake and the relief efforts. Other entertainment websites, including various gaming sites, such as the Chinese servers for World of Warcraft, had shut down altogether, or had corresponding links to earthquake donations. After the moments of silence, in Tiananmen Square, crowds spontaneously burst out cheering various slogans, including "Long Live China". Casinos in Macau closed down.
All Mainland Chinese television stations (along with some stations in Hong Kong and expatriate communities) cancelled all regularly-scheduled programming, displayed their logo in grayscale, and replaced their cancelled programmes with live earthquake footage from CCTV-1 for multiple days after the quake. Even pay television channels (such as Channel V) had their programmes suspended.
On the evening of May 18, CCTV-1 hosted a special four-hour program called The Giving of Love (simplified Chinese: 爱的奉献; traditional Chinese: 愛的奉獻), hosted by regulars from the CCTV New Year's Gala and round-the-clock coverage anchor Bai Yansong. It was attended by a wide range of entertainment, literary, business and political figures from mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Donations of the evening totalled 1.5 billion Chinese Yuan (~US$208 million). Of the donations, CCTV gave the biggest corporate contribution at ¥50 million. Almost at the same time in Taiwan, a similarly themed programme was on air hosted by the sitting president Ma Ying-jeou. In June, Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan, who donated $1.57 million to the victims, made a music video alongside other artists entitled "Promise"; the song was composed by Andy Lau. The Artistes 512 Fund Raising Campaign, an 8-hour fundraising marathon, was held on June 1 in Hong Kong; it was attended by some 200 Sinosphere musicians and celebrities. In Singapore, MediaCorp Channel 8 hosted a 'live' programme 让爱川流不息 to raise funds for the victims.
Collapse of schoolhouses
Although the Chinese government was initially praised for its response to the quake (especially in comparison to Myanmar's ruling military junta's blockade of aid during Cyclone Nargis), it then saw an erosion in confidence over the school construction scandal.
The central government estimates that over 7,000 inadequately engineered schoolrooms collapsed in the earthquake. Chinese citizens have since invented a catch phrase: "tofu-dregs schoolhouses" (Chinese: 豆腐渣校舍), to mock both the quality and the quantity of these inferior constructions that killed so many school children. Due to the one-child policy, many families lost their only child when schools in the region collapsed during the earthquake. Consequently, Sichuan provincial and local officials have lifted the restriction for families whose only child was either killed or severely injured in the disaster. So-called "illegal children" under 18 years of age may be registered as legal replacements for their dead siblings; if the dead child was illegal, no further outstanding fines would apply. Reimbursement would not, however, be offered for fines that were already levied.
On May 29, 2008, government officials began inspecting the ruins of thousands of schools that collapsed, searching for clues about why they crumbled. Thousands of parents around the province have accused local officials and builders of cutting corners in school construction, citing that after the quake other nearby buildings were little damaged. In the aftermath of the quake, many local governments promised to formally investigate the school collapses, but as of July 17, 2008, across Sichuan, parents of children lost in collapsed schools complained they had yet to receive any reports. Local officials urged them not to protest but the parents demonstrated and demanded an investigation. Furthermore, censors discouraged stories of poorly built schools from being published in the media and there was an incident where police drove the protestors away.
In the China Digital Times an article reports a close analysis by an alleged Chinese construction engineer known online as “Book Blade” (书剑子), who stated:
"...because of our nation’s particular brand of education, our children are fed 20 years of Marxist philosophy with Chinese characteristics—a philosophy that has nothing to say about saving lives...School construction is the worst. First, there’s not enough capital. Schools in poor areas have small budgets and, unlike schools in the cities, they can’t collect huge fees, so they’re pressed for money. With construction, add in exploitation by government officials, education officials, school managers, etc. and you can imagine what’s left over for the actual building of schools. When earthquake prevention standards are raised, government departments, major businesses, etc. will all appraise and reinforce their buildings. But these schools with their 70s-era buildings, no-one pays attention to them. Because of this, the older school buildings suffer from inadequate protection while the new buildings have been shoddily constructed."
On Children's Day, June 1, 2008, many parents went to the rubble of schools to mourn for their children. The surviving children, who were mostly living in relief centres, performed ceremonies marking the special day, but also acknowledging the earthquake.
Ye Zhiping, the principal of Sangzao Middle School in Sangzao, one of the largest in An County, has been credited with proactive action that spared the lives of all 2,323 pupils in attendance when the earthquake happened. During a three-year period that ended in 2007, he oversaw a major overhaul of his school. During that time he obtained more than 400,000 yuan (US$60,000) from the county education department, money used to widen and strengthen concrete pillars and the balcony railing of all four storeys of his school, as well as secure its concrete floors.
The AP reported that "The state-controlled media has largely ignored the issue, apparently under the propaganda bureau's instructions. Parents and volunteers who have questioned authorities have been detained and threatened."
However, Reuters reported in June that, to date, Chinese prosecutors have joined an official inquiry into ten collapsed schools during May's devastating earthquake to gain first-hand material of construction quality at the collapsed schools, launch preliminary inquiries and prepare for possible investigations into professional crime. It was also reported that safety checks were to be carried out at schools across China after last month's earthquake.
The New York Times reported that "government officials in Beijing and Sichuan have said they are investigating the collapses. In an acknowledgment of the weakness of building codes in the countryside, the National Development and Reform Commission said on May 27 that it had drafted an amendment to improve construction standards for primary and middle schools in rural areas. Experts are reviewing the draft, the commission said." To limit protests, officials pushed parents to sign a document, which forbade them from holding protests, in exchange of money, but some who refused to sign were threatened. The payment amounts varied from school to school but were approximately the same. In Hanwang, parents were offered a package valued at US$8,800 in cash and a per-parent pension of nearly US$5,600. Furthermore, officials used other methods of silencing: riot police officers broke up protests by parents; the authorities set up cordons around the schools; and officials ordered the Chinese news media to stop reporting on school collapses.
Besides parents, Liu Shaokun (刘绍坤), a Sichuan school teacher, was detained on June 25, 2008, for "disseminating rumors and destroying social order" about the Sichuan earthquake. Liu's family was later told that he was being investigated on suspicion of the crime of inciting subversion. Liu had travelled to the Shifang, taken photos of collapsed school buildings, and put them online. He had also expressed his anger at “the shoddy tofu-dregs buildings” (豆腐渣工程) in a media interview. He was ordered to serve one year of re-education through labor (RTL). According to the organization Human Rights in China, Liu has been released to serve his RTL sentence outside of the labor camp.
On May 15, 2008 Geoffery York of the Globeandmail.com reported that the shoddily constructed buildings are commonly called "tofu buildings" because builders cut corners by replacing steel rods with thin iron wires for concrete re-inforcement; using inferior grade cement, if any at all; and using fewer bricks than they should. One local was quoted in the article as saying that "the supervising agencies did not check to see if it met the national standards."
In January 2010, Hong Kong-based English newspaper The Standard reported that writer Tan Zuoren attempted to document shoddy construction that may have led to massive casualties in schools, was sentenced to in prison ostensibly for his writing an article in 2007 in support of the pro-democracy movement in 1989.
Foreign and domestic aid
Because of the magnitude of the quake, and the media attention on China, foreign nations and organizations immediately responded to the disaster by offering condolences and assistance. On May 14, UNICEF reported that China formally requested the support of the international community to respond to the needs of affected families.
By May 14, the Ministry of Civil Affairs stated that 10.7 billion yuan (approximately US$1.5 billion) had been donated by the Chinese public. Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, one of the country's most popular sports icons, gave $214,000 and $71,000 to the Red Cross Society of China. The association has also collected a total of $26 million in donations. Other multinational firms located in China have also announced large amounts of donations.
The Red Cross Society of China flew 557 tents and 2,500 quilts valued at 788,000 yuan (US$113,000) to Wenchuan County. The Amity Foundation already began relief work in the region and has earmarked US$143,000 for disaster relief. The Sichuan Ministry of Civil Affairs said that they have provided 30,000 tents for those left homeless.
Following the earthquake, donations were made by people from all over mainland China, with booths set up in schools, at banks, and around gas stations. People also donated blood, resulting in according to Xinhua long line-ups in most major Chinese cities. Many donated through text messaging on mobile phones to accounts set up by China Unicom and China Mobile By May 16, the Chinese government had allocated a total of $772 million for earthquake relief so far, up sharply from $159 million from May 14.
On May 16 China stated it had also received $457 million in donated money and goods for rescue efforts so far, including $83 million from 19 countries and four international organizations. Saudi Arabia was the largest aid donor to China, providing close to €40,000,000 in financial assistance, and an additional €8,000,000 worth of relief materials.
On May 12, 2009, China marked the first anniversary of the quake with a moment of silence as people across the nation remembered the dead. The government also opened access to the sealed ruins of the Beichuan county seat for three days, after which it will be frozen in time as a state earthquake relic museum, to remind people of the terrible disaster. There were also several concerts across the country to raise money for the survivors of the quake.
Completion of works
In 2008, State Council established a counterpart support plan (《汶川地震灾后恢复重建对口支援方案》). The plan is to arrange 19 eastern and central provinces and municipalities to help 18 counties, on "one province to one affected county" basis. The plan spanned 3 years, and cost no less than one percent of the province or municipality's budget.
Wei said that 99.5 percent of the budget, or 865.8 billion yuan (137.5 billion U.S. dollars), has been invested in post-quake reconstruction efforts, and 99 percent of 29,692 related projects have been completed. . . . Local governments have successfully helped more than 12 million people in rural and urban areas repair their houses, and have relocated 200,000 farmers who lost their farmlands, the vice governor added.
Precursors and postmortems
The earthquake was the worst to strike the Sichuan area in over 30 years. Following the quake, experts and the general public sought information on whether or not the earthquake could have been predicted in advance, and whether or not studying statistics related to the quake could result in better prediction of earthquakes in the future. Earthquake prediction is not yet established science; there was no consensus within the scientific community that earthquake "prediction" is possible.
In 2002, Chinese geologist Chen Xuezhong published a Seismic Risk Analysis study in which he came to the conclusion that beginning with 2003, attention should be paid to the possibility of an earthquake with a magnitude of over 7.0 occurring in Sichuan region. He based his study on statistical correlation. That Sichuan is a seismically active area has been discussed for years prior to the quake, though few studies point to a specific date and time.
In a press conference held by the State Council Information Office the day after the earthquake, geologist Zhang Xiaodong, deputy director of CEA's Seismic Monitoring Network Center, restated that earthquake prediction was a global issue, in the sense that no proven methods exist, and that no prediction notification was received before the earthquake. Seismologist Gary Gibson of Monash University in Australia told Deutsche Presse-Agentur that he also did not see anything that could be regarded as having 'predicted' the earthquake's occurrence.
The earthquake also provided opportunities for researchers to retrofit data in order to model future earthquake predictions. Using data from the Intermagnet Lanzhou geomagnetic observatory, geologists Lazo Pekevski from the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje in Macedonia and Strachimir Mavrodiev from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences attempted to establish a "time prediction method" through collecting statistics on geomagnetism with tidal gravitational potential. Using this method, they were said to have predicted the time of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake with an accuracy of ±1 day. The same study, however, acknowledges the limitation of earthquake prediction models, and does not mention that the location of the quake could be accurately predicted.
An article in Science suggested that the construction and filling of the Zipingpu Dam may have triggered the earthquake. The chief engineer of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau said that the sudden shift of a huge quantity of water into the region could have relaxed the tension between the two sides of the fault, allowing them to move apart, and could have increased the direct pressure on it, causing a violent rupture. The effect was "25 times more" than a year's worth of natural stress from tectonic movement. The government had disregarded warnings about so many large-scale dam projects in a seismically active area. Researchers have been denied access to seismological and geological data to examine the cause of the quake further.
Malaysia-based Yazhou Zhoukan conducted an interview with former researcher at the China Seismological Bureau Geng Qingguo (耿庆国), in which Geng claimed that a confidential written report was sent to the State Seismological Bureau on April 30, 2008, warning about the possible occurrence of a significant earthquake in Ngawa Prefecture region of Sichuan around May 8, with a range of 10 days before or after the quake. Geng, while acknowledging that earthquake prediction was broadly considered problematic by the scientific community, believed that "the bigger the earthquake, the easier it is to predict." Geng had long attempted to establish a correlation between the occurrence of droughts and earthquakes; Premier Zhou Enlai reportedly took an interest in Geng's work. Geng's drought-earthquake correlation theory was first released in 1972, and said to have successfully predicted the 1975 Haicheng and 1976 Tangshan earthquakes. The same Yazhou Zhoukan article pointed out the inherent difficulties associated with predicting earthquakes. In response, an official with the Seismological Bureau stated that "earthquake prediction is widely acknowledged around the world to be difficult from a scientific standpoint." The official also denied that the Seismological Bureau had received reports predicting the earthquake.
- List of deadly earthquakes since 1900
- List of earthquakes in 2008
- List of earthquakes in China
- List of earthquakes in Sichuan
- List of natural disasters by death toll
- Lists of earthquakes
- Natural disasters in China
- Watts, Jonathan (August 14, 2008). "Sichuan quake: China's earthquake reconstruction to cost $150bn". The Guardian. Archived from the original on October 8, 2017. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
- "Massive quake kills nearly 10,000 in China". NBC News. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on July 20, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Magnitude of SW China earthquake revised to 8.0". Xinhua News Agency. May 18, 2008. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
- "Magnitude 7.9 – Eastern Sichuan, China". USGS. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on September 11, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Magnitude 7.9 – Eastern Sichuan, China and Hong Kong". USGS. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on September 16, 2008. Retrieved September 16, 2008.
- "Seismic intensity map of the M8.0 Wenchuan earthquake (汶川8.0级地震烈度分布图)". CEA. August 29, 2008. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved October 9, 2003.
- 据地震台网测定，北京时间2009-01-15 02:23 在四川汶川(北纬31.3,东经103.3) 发生5.1级地震。截止2009年01月14日12时，汶川7.9级地震余震区共发生42719次余震，其中4.0～4.9级246次，5.0～5.9级 34次，6.0～6.9级8次，最大震级为6.4级。 [According to surveys by the China Seismic Network, an earthquake of M(s) 5.1 struck Wenchuan, Sichuan at 02:23 (CST) on January 15, 2009. By 12:00 o'clock January 14, 2009 (CST), aftershock zone of the 8 Ms-Wenchuan earthquake had 42,719 total aftershocks, of which 246 between M4.0 and 4.9, 34 between M5.0 and 5.9, 8 between M6.0 and 6.9; the strongest being of 6.4 Ms] (in Chinese). Sichuan Earthquake Administration (SCEA). Archived from the original on July 30, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2008. Another source is 汶川8.0级地震余震分布与统计 [Distributions and statistics of aftershocks of the M8.0 Wenchuan earthquake] (in Chinese). China Earthquake Administration. August 29, 2008. Archived from the original on September 16, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2008. The text in the latter appears to be an exact copy of the former, only updated less frequently.
- Armand Vervaeck and Dr. James Daniell (October 5, 2013). "The May 12, 2008 deadly Sichuan Earthquake - A recap - 3 years later". SOS Earthquakes. Archived from the original on March 6, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
- Paula Dunbar. "Significant Earthquake". Ngdc.noaa.gov. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- "Magnitude 7.9 - EASTERN SICHUAN, CHINA". Earthquake.usgs.gov. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- Jacobs, Andrew; Wong, Edward; Yuanxi, Huang (May 7, 2009). "China Reports Student Toll for Quake". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
Large earthquakes are common in fold and thrust belts; a recent example is the great Wench-uan earthquake that hit Sichuan, China, on May 12, 2008, killing more than 80,000 people.
- 伤亡汇总_四川汶川强烈地震_新闻中心_新浪网 [Casualties of the Wenchuan Earthquake] (in Chinese). Sina.com. June 8, 2008. Archived from the original on May 19, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2008., and 汶川地震已造成69196人遇难 18379人失踪_新闻中心_新浪网 [Wenchuan Earthquake has already caused 69,196 fatalities and 18,379 missing] (in Chinese). Sina.com. July 6, 2008. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2008.
- Some early Western reports used the term Chengdu quake; e.g., "Chengdu Earthquake". U.S. Consulate General Chengdu, China. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved January 24, 2009., "The Chengdu earthquake". Physics Today. May 14, 2008. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2009., etc. This term never picked up widely in media reports, but was reportedly used by BBC America in a follow-up report on preparations for winter and housing rebuilding efforts aired November 12, 2008, in counterpoint to Olympics.
- 汶川地震震级修订为Ms8.0 [Magnitude of the Wenchuan Earthquake revised to Ms8.0 ()] (in Chinese). CEA. May 18, 2008. Archived from the original on June 18, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
- 中国地震信息网关于汶川地震震级修订的专访 [Special Interview about the Revision of Magnitude of the Wenchuan Earthquake] (in Chinese). CEA. May 20, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2008.[dead link]
- Fan, Xuanmei; Hsein Juang, C; Wasowski, J; Huang, Runqiu; Xu, Qiang; Scaringi, Gianvito; Westen, C.J.; Havenith, Hans-Balder (May 5, 2018). "What we have learned from the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake and its aftermath: A decade of research and challenges". Engineering Geology. 241: 25–32. doi:10.1016/j.enggeo.2018.05.004.
- "'Hundreds buried' by China quake". BBC. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- Xu, Chong; Xu, Xiwei; Yao, Xin; Dai, Fuchu (May 3, 2013). "Three (nearly) complete inventories of landslides triggered by the May 12, 2008 Wenchuan Mw 7.9 earthquake of China and their spatial distribution statistical analysis". Landslides. 11 (3): 441–461. doi:10.1007/s10346-013-0404-6. ISSN 1612-510X.
- Fan, Xuanmei; Huang, Runqiu (May 1, 2013). "The landslide story". Nature Geoscience. 6 (5): 325. Bibcode:2013NatGe...6..325H. doi:10.1038/ngeo1806.
- Fan, Xuanmei (April 6, 2017). "Characteristics and classification of landslide dams associated with the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake". Geoenvironmental Disasters. 4: 1–15. doi:10.1186/s40677-017-0079-8.
- Dai, Keren; Li, Zhenhong; Tomás, Roberto; Liu, Guoxiang; Yu, Bing; Wang, Xiaowen; Cheng, Haiqin; Chen, Jiajun; Stockamp, Julia (December 2016). "Monitoring activity at the Daguangbao mega-landslide (China) using Sentinel-1 TOPS time series interferometry". Remote Sensing of Environment. 186: 501–513. Bibcode:2016RSEnv.186..501D. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2016.09.009. ISSN 0034-4257.
- Wang, Gonghui; Huang, Runqiu; Lourenço, Sérgio D.N.; Kamai, Toshitaka (November 19, 2014). "A large landslide triggered by the 2008 Wenchuan (M8.0) earthquake in Donghekou area: Phenomena and mechanisms". Engineering Geology. 182: 148–157. doi:10.1016/j.enggeo.2014.07.013. hdl:2433/192897. ISSN 0013-7952.
- "More than 4.8 million homeless in Sichuan quake: official". Relief Web. Agence France-Presse. May 16, 2008. Archived from the original on June 3, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2008.
- Hooker, Jake (May 26, 2008). "Toll Rises in China Quake". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 10, 2008. Retrieved June 1, 2008.
- 20世纪中国的十个大地震 [10 Greatest Earthquakes in China in 20th Century]. Ningxia Daily (in Chinese). May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2008.
- "FACTBOX-China's recent measures to spur growth". News.alibaba.com. November 6, 2008. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
- 汶川8.0级地震成因分析 [Analysis of the cause of the M8.0 Wenchuan earthquake] (in Chinese). China Earthquake Administration. May 30, 2008. Archived from the original on September 16, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
- Ji, Chen; Hayes, Gavin. "Finite Fault Model of the May 12, 2008 Mw 7.9 Eastern Sichuan, China Earthquake". United States Geological Survey – National Earthquake Information Center. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- José A. Álvarez-Gómez (May 12, 2008). "Calculation of surface deformation and variation of static Coulomb forces for the earthquake of 7.9 MW on May 12, 2008, in Sichuan, China" (in Spanish). Complutense University of Madrid. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- David Barboza (May 20, 2008). "One Week Later, a Nation Pauses to Share Its Mourning and Grief". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- May 15 / Dave Schumaker (May 15, 2008). "Sichuan Quake Ruptured in 2 Stages | The Geology News Blog". Geology.rockbandit.net. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- de Michele, Marcello; Raucoules, Daniel; de Sigoyer, Julia; Pubellier, Manuel; Chamot-Rooke, Nicolas (October 2010), "Three-dimensional surface displacement of the 2008 May 12 Sichuan earthquake (China) derived from Synthetic Aperture Radar: evidence for rupture on a blind thrust", Geophys. J. Int. (abstract), 183 (3): 1097–1103, Bibcode:2010GeoJI.183.1097D, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04807.x(subscription required)
- Chinese: 汶川地震的发生及龙门山向东南方向推覆的动力来源是印度板块与欧亚大陆碰撞及其向北的推挤，这一板块间的相对运动导致了亚洲大陆内部大规模的构造变形，造成了青藏高原的地壳缩短、地貌隆升和向东挤出(图3)。由于青藏高原在向东北方向运动的过程中在四川盆地一带遭到华南活动地块的强烈阻挡，使得应力在龙门山推覆构造带上高度积累，以至于沿映秀-北川断裂突然发生错动，产生8.0级强烈地震 See Longmenshan Fault for more quotes from this study.
- "Magnitude 7.9 – Eastern Sichuan, China". UGS. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on September 11, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- "Eastern Sichuan Earthquake May 12, 2008". British Geological Survey. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- "Near Real-Time Earthquake Loss Estimates". Archived from the original on May 18, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
- This time is published by USGS. Time published by CEA is about three seconds later at 14:28:04.0 China Standard Time (06:28:04 UTC), c.f. 5月12日四川汶川县发生7.8级地震 [Wenchuan, Sichuan had a quake of magnitude 7.8 on May 12] (in Chinese). CEA. May 12, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2008.[dead link] "四川汶川发生8.0级地震" [An 8.0 Ms earthquake struck Wenchuan, Sichuan] (in Chinese). Sichuan Earthquake Administration (SCEA, 四川省地震局). May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- "Provinces and municipalities of China excepting Jilin, Heilongjiang and Xinjiang have all reported varying levels of tremors felt" (in Chinese). Xinhua. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2008.
- "Record distance from epicentre to Hong Kong with tremors felt" (in Chinese). ON.CC News. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008. See also: "Observatory states that many residents experienced the tremors this afternoon". Sing Tao Daily. May 12, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008.[dead link](in Chinese)
- "6:30 News Report" (in Chinese). TVB. May 12, 2008.
- "Bulletin issued at 15:15 HKT 12/May/2008". Hong Kong Observatory. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
- 高楼住户感摇晃脑袋晕 [Residents of highrises experienced dizziness] (in Chinese). Macau Daily News. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Death toll in China earthquake exceeds 12,000". Yahoo!. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Massive Quake Rocks China". CBS News. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Tremor depth at 29 km below surface". China Daily. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "China quake felt throughout Taiwan, but no injuries or damage reported". The China Post. Taiwan (ROC). May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2008.
- Chaney, Joseph; Edmund Klamann (May 12, 2008). "China's tallest bldg [sic] evacuated after earthquake". Forbes/Reuters. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
- Beck, Lindsay; Guo Shipeng (May 12, 2008). "Strong China quake felt as far as Thailand". Reuters. pp. 2/4. Archived from the original on January 10, 2009. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
- Yan, Fang; Edmund Klamann (May 12, 2008). "Ford's Sichuan plant briefly evacuated after quake". Reuters. Archived from the original on May 18, 2008. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
- Loo, Daryl (May 12, 2008). "Singapore's SilkAir flight to Chengdu diverted". Reuters. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- Ho, Patricia Jiayi (May 13, 2008). "UPDATE:Chengdu Airport Reopened Monday Night-China Regulator". Dow Jones Newswires. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Powerful earthquake hits Sichuan". China Daily. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on April 1, 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Cargo Train Derails In NW China After Earthquake". Malaysian National News Agency. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Quake closes major highways, expressways in SW China". Xinhua. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- 成都军区——线指挥所在都江堰附近受阻 [Hindrance to relief work at the frontlines of Chengdu Military Region's relief headquarters near Dujiangyan] (in Chinese). May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Death toll in China earthquake up to near 9,000". Chicago Tribune. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Chemical Plants Hit by Chinese Earthquake (update 2)". Chemical Week. May 16, 2008. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Thousands dead in Chinese quake". BBC. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- Hornby, Lucy (May 14, 2008). "China quake weakens Sichuan dams, cuts off river". ReliefWeb. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- 女子被困102小时获救 男友在废墟外向其求婚 [Successful rescue of a woman trapped for 102 hours --- Boyfriend proposes marriage beside the rubbles] (in Chinese). Sina.com. May 18, 2008. Archived from the original on June 19, 2008. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
- "Copper Jumps as Dollar Falls, supply concerns on Earthquake in China". IBT Commodities & Futures. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2008.
- "Wall Street Bounces Back". Forbes. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Telecom services hit". People's Daily. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Quake affects grid, power plants in SW China". May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Quake paralyzes phone networks in SW China". May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Report: Rare giant pandas at Chinese breeding center safe after quake". International Herald Tribune. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- Liu, Melinda (May 21, 2008). "Animal Instinct". Newsweek. Archived from the original on June 14, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
- "Two pandas missing in China quake region". UPI. May 20, 2008. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Panda reserve mulls moving after quake damage". CNN. Associated Press. May 29, 2008. Archived from the original on June 1, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2008.
- Yan, Yangtze (June 10, 2008). "One panda confirmed dead in China quake". Window of China. Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on June 14, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
- "Chinese Premier visits Zipingpu dam in quake-hit Sichuan". Xinhua News Agency. May 24, 2008. Archived from the original on May 26, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2008.
- "China says troops rushed to plug dangerous cracks in dam". yahoo.com. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 18, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- Sichuan is further subdivided into its prefecture-level divisions
- 21,963 deaths in Mianyang as of June 7, 18:00 CST, 绵阳市抗震救灾情况通报 [Earthquake Information of Mianyang as of June 7] (in Chinese). Official website of Mianyang Government. June 8, 2008. Archived from the original on June 13, 2008. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
- "Death Toll in Ngawa Prefecture reaches 20,258 as of June 6, 18:00 CST" (in Chinese). Official website of Ngawa Prefecture Government. June 7, 2008. Archived from the original on June 9, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2008.
- "Earthquake Information of Deyang as of June 7, 19:00 CST" (in Chinese). Official website of Deyang Government. June 8, 2008. Retrieved June 8, 2008.[dead link]
- "Guangyuan Government Held 20th News Conference for the Earthquake on June 7" (in Chinese). Official website of Guangyuan Government. June 8, 2008. Archived from the original on June 20, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
- "Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2008: North America and Asia suffer heavy losses" (PDF). Swiss Re. January 21, 2009. p. 38. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 24, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- Yardly, Jim; Barboza, David (May 20, 2008). "Aftershock Alert Spreads Panic in Chinese City". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008. See also: "China quake death toll tops 51,000". Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- "Wenchuan's Yingxiu village survivor count at 2,300 --- the reservoir upstream faces the danger of collapse" (in Chinese). Sina.com. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2008.
- "China says up to 5,000 dead in one quake-hit county". Reuters. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved May 14, 2008.
- "11 tourists from Taiwan trapped in a cable car while visiting Dujiangyan's Mount Lingyan rescued, 1 fatality" (in Chinese). May 14, 2008. Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- Hsu Jenny W. Shan Shelley (May 14, 2008) "businesspeople, tourists missing in China Archived May 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine", Taipei Times (May 25, 2008)
- "Long wait for medical care after China quake". Associated Press. May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 18, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- Wu Jiao (May 17, 2008). "School building quality to be probed". China Daily. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2009.
- "Sichuan earthquake killed more than 5,000 pupils, says China". The Guardian. May 7, 2009. Archived from the original on September 6, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2009.
- Ai Weiwei (March 12, 2009). "5.12汶川地震死亡学生"调查 09.03.12 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on May 19, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2009.
- "China: 2008 quake killed 5,335 students". CNN. May 7, 2009. Archived from the original on May 8, 2009. Retrieved May 7, 2009.
- "Beijing can't muzzle outrage over deadly collapsed schools", The Globe and Mail, June 17, 2008
- "China: May Quake Killed 19,000 School Kids" Archived April 14, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, CBC News, November 21, 2008
- Jeffries, Ian (2010). Political Developments in Contemporary China. Routledge. p. 812. ISBN 978-1-136-96520-3.
- "China Quake Survivors have Bittersweet Baby Boom. Los Angeles Times May 3, 2008.  Archived July 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Hooker, Jake (May 26, 2008). "Toll Rises in China Quake". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 10, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- "– Buitenland – Angst voor overstromingen in rampgebied China". Nrc.nl. September 2, 2008. Archived from the original on January 13, 2009. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
- "Earthquake estimates as high as $1 billion: AIR". BusinessInsurance.com. May 14, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Why the China Quake Was So Devastating". Yahoo!. May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- "Sichuan Earthquake Field Report". Miyamoto International. Retrieved August 19, 2008.[permanent dead link]
- "Experts Estimate Over $75 billion Economic Loss from Sichuan Earthquake". Epoch Times. May 26, 2008. Archived from the original on November 22, 2008. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
- Hooker, Jake (May 26, 2008). "Toll Rises in China Quake". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 10, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
- "More than 420,000 houses collapse in aftershock epicenter Qingchuan". Xinhua. May 28, 2008. Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2008.
- 四川青川5.6级余震 已造成一死十多人受伤 [5.6M Aftershock in Qingchuan, Sichuan caused 1 death and over 10] (in Chinese). 腾讯大成网. July 24, 2008. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2008.
- 两次强余震造成广元市1死17伤 [Two strong aftershocks caused 1 death, 17 injuries in Guangyuan, Sichuan] (in Chinese). Sichuan Earthquake Administration (SCEA, 四川地震局). July 25, 2008. Archived from the original on July 27, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
- 平武县在6.1级余震中19人受伤 [19 injured during the 6.1Ms aftershock in Pingwu] (in Chinese). Sichuan Earthquake Administration (SCEA, 四川地震局). August 2, 2008. Archived from the original on September 17, 2008. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- 平武县响岩镇在强余震中已有181人轻伤 [181 suffered light injury during the strong aftershock in Xiangyan, Pingwu County] (in Chinese). Sichuan Earthquake Administration (SCEA, 四川地震局). August 1, 2008. Archived from the original on March 18, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- "Roughly: A Ms6.1 aftershock in Pingwu and Beichuan, Sichuan caused 2 deaths and 345 injuries (四川平武县、北川县交界发生6.1级余震造成2人死亡，345人受伤)". CEA. August 2, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2008.[dead link]
- "Roughly: A Ms6.1 aftershock in Qingchuan, Sichuan caused 1 death, 32 injuries; national highway 212 blocked (四川省广元市青川县6.1级余震造成1人死亡32人受伤 国道212线中断)". CEA. August 6, 2008. Archived from the original on August 6, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- Jacobs, Andrew (November 21, 2008). "Garbled Report on Sichuan Death Toll Revives Pain". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
- "Chinese official corrects figure on quake deaths". Philstar.com. November 21, 2008. Archived from the original on May 16, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- "President Hu orders utmost effort for Sichuan quake victims". Xinhua. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
- "China's Quake Damage Control". TIME. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on October 17, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- "50,000 troops deployed". Bloomberg L.P. May 12, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
- "Xinhua press, CCTV Video". CCTV. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 19, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
- "Chinese Civil-Military Relations in the Post-Deng Era". U.S. NAVAL WAR COLLEGE's CHINA MARITIME STUDIES. January 2010. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- "郭伯雄事件暴露出来的隐忧". South China Morning Post: International Edition. August 2, 2015. Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
- "江泽民一身绿衣权瘾大 习近平出狠手". RFA. August 25, 2015. Archived from the original on March 4, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
- "Quake Revealed Deficiencies of China's Military". The New York Times . August 25, 2015. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- "Ministry of Civil Affair's National Disaster Relief Committee raises the relief response to the Sichuan Earthquake to Emergency Contingency Plan Level I" (in Chinese). Sina.com. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Quake relief in full swing". China.org. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Sichuan Earthquake 60 members of Taipei's relief team ready to be dispatched" (in Chinese). Central News Agency. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2008.
- 中国红十字会公布地震灾区捐助账号 开并通热线 [Red Cross of China announced earthquake relief donation account numbers as well as opening up several hotlines]. People's Daily (in Chinese). May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 14, 2008.
- "Rescuers save quake-trapped Tibetans after trekking 33 hours". Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- 四川大部有雨可能对救灾工作有不利的影响 [Rain covered major part of Sichuan may hinder the rescue] (in Chinese). China News Service. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2008. See also: 山体滑坡导致度经验至汶川路段完全阻断 [Landslides completely blocked the highways to Wenchuan] (in Chinese). China News Service. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
- "More than 12,000 military and militia personnel in active service of the Sichuan Provincial Military Region prepare to join the relief effort" (in Chinese). Xinhua News Agency. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2008. See also: China's Defense Bureau: People's Liberation Army and People's Armed Police joins the relief effort in full force Archived May 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine (in Chinese)
- 汶川映秀镇生存3千余人 部队发水和食品 [3,000 survivors of Wenchuan's Yingxiu Town received drinking water and food] (in Chinese). Xinhua. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Death toll exceeds 12,000 in Sichuan, 9,400 trapped". China Daily. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Phones coming back to service at China quake epicenter". Xinhua. May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "China parachutes 100 soldiers to cut-off quake area". Xinhua. May 14, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 14, 2008.
- Zhang Ning. "Premiere Wen orders 90 more helicopters for quake relief work". Chinese Central Television. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- 大陸核准慈濟 明後天出發救災 [Mainland authorities gives approval to Tzu Chi --- Tzu Chi's team scheduled to depart tomorrow or the day after to join the relief effort] (in Chinese). TVBS. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Struggle to reach quake trapped". BBC. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Search for China quake survivors". BBC. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Taiwan has tentative plans to send supplies to Sichuan with direct flights --- to send hundreds of tons of relief supplies" (in Chinese). RTHK. May 14, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 14, 2008. See also: "Chinese Airlines chartered cargo plane will make a direct flight to Sichuan in the afternoon to deliver relief supplies" (in Chinese). RTHK. May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- "The Mainland agrees to receive 20 members of our Red Cross Society's relief team to join the relief effort --- due to arrive in Chengdu by charter plane in the afternoon of the 16th" (in Chinese). The Red Cross Society of the Republic of China. May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- "Days of disaster". The Economist. May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 14, 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- French, Howard W.; Wong, Edward (May 16, 2008). "In Departure, China Invites Outside Help". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2008.
- "US giving China satellite images of quake damage: Pentagon". Agence France-Presse. May 19, 2008. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "US military planes deliver aid to quake-hit China". Agence France-Presse. May 18, 2008. Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Sichuan's Race Against Time". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
- "How is the situation in the surrounding quake-stricken areas? Tell us the situation in your area if you know" (in Chinese). Xinhua. May 14, 2008. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "A post on QQ: A girl aids relief helicopters landing in Wenchuan" (in Chinese). Xinhua News Agency. May 18, 2008. Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Searching for Relatives in the aftermath of the Wenchuan Earthquake" (in Chinese). 512 Help. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Helicopter carrying earthquake survivors crashed". Sina. Archived from the original on June 15, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2008.
- Demick, Barbara (May 14, 2008). "Amid the tragedy lies opportunity". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2008. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- Jacobs, Andrew (May 14, 2008). "A Rescue in China, Uncensored". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 7, 2016. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- Magnier, Mark (May 17, 2008). "China's Old Ways Shaken by the Quake". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- "Wu Jing Gives a Helping Hand in Sichuan". Wu-Jing.org. Archived from the original on July 18, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- Fan, Xuanmei; Juang, C. Hsein; Wasowski, Janusz; Huang, Runqiu; Xu, Qiang; Scaringi, Gianvito; Van Westen, Cees J.; Havenith, Hans-Balder (July 26, 2018). "What we have learned from the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake and its aftermath: A decade of research and challenges". Engineering Geology. 241: 25–32. doi:10.1016/j.enggeo.2018.05.004. ISSN 0013-7952.
- Huang, Runqiu; Fan, Xuanmei (April 29, 2013). "The landslide story". Nature Geoscience. 6 (5): 325–326. Bibcode:2013NatGe...6..325H. doi:10.1038/ngeo1806.
- Mu Xuequan, ed. (May 28, 2008). "Swollen lake tops China's quake relief agenda, draining, evacuation side by side". Xinhua. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2008.
- "Lake Formation in the Aftermath of Magnitude 7.9 Earthquake". NASA Earth Observatory. May 20, 2008. Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2008.
- "Copters take off to large Sichuan "quake lake"". China Daily. May 24, 2008. Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2008.
- "More people being evacuated from swollen lake area in southwest China". www.chinaview.cn. Xinhua News Agency. May 27, 2008. Archived from the original on May 29, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2008.
- Demick, Barbara (May 20, 2008). "China's tribute to quake victims". The San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- Sheldrick, A.; Tang, E. (May 12, 2008). "China Is Hit by 7.9-Magnitude Earthquake Near Chengdu". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved May 12, 2008. See also: "Donald Tsang: Flags at half-mast in the SAR during National Mourning Day" (in Chinese). Radio Television Hong Kong. May 18, 2008. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008. See also: "Macau to lower flags to half mast during National Mourning Day" (in Chinese). Radio Television Hong Kong. May 18, 2008. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "China announces three-day mourning for quake victims, suspension of torch relay". Xinhua News Agency. May 18, 2008. Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "PCWorld: China Mourning Suspends Entertainment Web Sites". PC World. May 18, 2008. Archived from the original on May 19, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2008.
- Demick, Barbara (May 20, 2008). "San Francisco Chronicle: China's tribute to quake victims". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2008.
- CCTV.com Archived May 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- "Wong Faye sings "The Giving of Love", raising 1.5 billion yuan in one night" (in Chinese). Tom.com. May 19, 2008. Archived from the original on July 19, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "<<把爱传出去>>台湾为四川汶川地震赈灾募捐晚会- 专辑- 优酷视频". Archived from the original on July 12, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "Promise: Earthquake Song". YouTube. Archived from the original on January 24, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- "China's government praised for easing media restrictions". Bureau of International Information Programs. Archived from the original on July 3, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2008.
- "Mourning rallies Chinese behind quake relief". Deutsche Presse-Agentur via Monsters and Critics. Archived from the original on May 20, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2008.
- "In Chinese town, quake shakes faith in school construction" Archived March 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Cable News Network, May 18, 2008
- "School quake scandal: Bereaved parents accuse China government of allowing shoddy construction", Toronto Sun, June 5, 2008
- A Chinese school, shored up by its principal, survived where others fell Archived October 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, a June 15, 2008, article from the International Herald Tribune
- Jacobs, Andrew (May 27, 2008). "One-Child Policy Lifted for Quake Victims' Parents". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 10, 2008. Retrieved May 27, 2008.
- Trindle, Jamila. "VOA News – China Questions Construction Quality". Voanews.com. Archived from the original on June 13, 2008. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
- Menkes, Suzy (July 17, 2008). "Edward Wong, "Grieving Chinese parents protest school collapse"". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- Edward Wong (June 4, 2008). "Chinese Stifle Grieving Parents' Protest of Shoddy School Construction". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 7, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2008.
- Michael Bristow (June 3, 2007). "China reins in quake school fury". BBC. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2008.
- Li, Zhaohua. "A Construction Engineer's Thoughts on the Sichuan Earthquake". China Digital Times. Archived from the original on February 23, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- Cara Anna, Sensitive China quake photo removed, Associated Press via USA Today, 6/14/08, accessed 6/29/12
- Chris Buckley, China prosecutors join quake school collapse probe Archived January 24, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Associated Press, 6/14/08, accessed 6/16/08
- "China orders school safety checks". Yahoo! UK. Retrieved June 17, 2008.[dead link]
- Wong, Edward (June 16, 2008). "How Angel of Sichuan Saved School in Quake". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
- Wong, Edward (July 24, 2008). "China Presses Hush Money on Grieving Parents". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 16, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
- Human Rights in China, "Press Release: Family Visits Still Denied to Sichuan School Teacher Punished after Quake-Zone Visit," July 29, 2008[dead link]
- YORK, GEOFFREY (May 15, 2008). "Why China's buildings crumbled Survivors blame corruption, shoddy construction and cost cutting for the collapse of so many 'tofu buildings' – and even state media outlets are asking questions". globeandmail.com. Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- Lee, Diana and agencies (February 10, 2010), Fury at jail for quake activist Archived June 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The Standard
- "China requests emergency supplies to aid in quake recovery". UNICEF. May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- "Charity Begins at Home". Wall Street Journal. May 14, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Earthquake aid for China". Reuters. May 14, 2008. Archived from the original on May 18, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "Appeal for support to Amity's earthquake relief work". Amity Foundation. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
- "Central SOEs donate $48.6m to quake-hit area |Economy". Chinadaily. April 25, 2013. Archived from the original on April 12, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
- Cheng, Jonathan (May 15, 2008). "Wall Street Journal: Chinese people open their hearts and wallets following Earthquake". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- "Humanitarian emotion glitters in China earthquake relief". Xinhua News Agency. May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 19, 2008. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
- "Xinhua: Virtual Community mobilizes after quake". Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2008.
- "Strong aftershock hits China quake epicenter". Yahoo! News. May 16, 2008. Archived from the original on May 19, 2008. Retrieved May 16, 2008.
- "Chinese president arrives in Riyadh at start of 'trip of friendship, cooperation'" Archived October 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Xinhua, February 10, 2009
- Fang Yang. "Sichuan post-quake reconstruction completed successfully". Xinhua. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013.
- "'Hundreds buried' by China quake". BBC News. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
- Chen Xuezhong (December 1, 2002). "Seismic Risk Analysis of Earthquakes of M≥7.0 in Sichuan Province, China" (in Chinese). Recent Developments in World Seismology, 2002–12. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
- "Study on Earthquake Trends in the Sichuan-Yunnan Region Based on Commensurability" (in Chinese). May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008. (This article cannot be retrieved as of September 9, 2008.)
- Alexander L. Densmore; et al. (July 17, 2007). "Active tectonics of the Beichuan and Pengguan faults at the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau" (PDF). Tectonics. TECTONICS, VOL. 26. 26 (4): TC4005. Bibcode:2007Tecto..26.4005D. doi:10.1029/2006TC001987. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2011. Note: This article did not attempt to make any predictions about earthquakes in any specific time frame, but simply stated that the region was at risk of high intensity earthquakes.
- "National News Office's press conference concerning the Sichuan Wenchuan Earthquake's situation and progress of the relief efforts" (in Chinese). China.com.cn. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- "China's Earthquake Disaster Prevention Station never received Wenchuan Earthquake's notification prior to the event" (in Chinese). China News Service. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2008.
- "No precursors to Sichuan quake, top seismologist says". Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. May 16, 2008. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
- Pekevski, Lazo; Mavrodiev, Strachimir Cht. (September 12, 2008). "The time of China, Sichuan, Wenchun magnitude 7.9 earthquake could be predicted" (PDF). China Earthquake Geospatial Research Portal. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 2, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2014. Cite journal requires
- Kerr, R. A. (2009). "SEISMOLOGY: A Human Trigger for the Great Quake of Sichuan?". Science. 323 (5912): 322. doi:10.1126/science.323.5912.322. PMID 19150817. S2CID 206583866.
- Chinese earthquake may have been man-made, say scientists Archived April 4, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Telegraph, February 3, 2009
- "Huge dam may have triggered Sichuan earthquake, scientists say". The Sydney Morning Herald. February 4, 2009. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- Naik, Gautam; Oster, Shai (February 6, 2009). "Scientists Link China's Dam to Earthquake, Renewing Debate". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 17, 2011.[permanent dead link]
- Jiang, Xun (June 6, 2008). "专访中国地震局前研究员耿庆国:越是大地震越容易预测(地震预报争论)". Caijing via Yazhou Zhoukan. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- MIT Report: Earthquake near Wenchuan, West Sichuan, China
- Web site about the people and the reconstruction since the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China
- Lake Formation in the Aftermath of Magnitude 7.9 Earthquake (images included)
- M 7.9 - eastern Sichuan, China – USGS
- Sichuan Earthquake Pictures Archive
- Compilation of BBC Videos Related to the Earthquake
- CNN – Chinese Earthquake Entire Video Archive
- "China Quake" documentary produced by Natural History New Zealand
- China Quake Victims’ Parents Sue – China Digital Times
- The International Seismological Centre has a bibliography and/or authoritative data for this event.
- ReliefWeb's main page for this event.