On this day May 12, 2008

A devastating earthquake (measuring around 8.0 magnitude) occurs in Sichuan, China, killing over 69,000 people, less than three months before China hosted the world in the 2008 Summer Olympics.2008_Sichuan_earthquake_map

The epicenter was 80 kilometres (50 mi) west-northwest of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, with a depth of 19 kilometres (12 mi).

The earthquake was also felt in nearby countries and as far away as both Beijing and Shanghai — 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) and 1,700 kilometres (1,056 mi) away — where office buildings swayed with the tremor.

Approximately 15 million people lived in the affected area. It was the deadliest earthquake to hit China since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which killed at least 240,000 people, and the strongest since the 1950 Chayu earthquake in the country, which registered at 8.5 on Richter magnitude scale. It is the 19th deadliest earthquake of all time.

Strong aftershocks, some exceeding magnitude 6, continue to hit the area even months after the main quake, causing new casualties and damage.

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