The 2008 Sichuan earthquake or the Great Sichuan Earthquake, measured at 8.0 Ms and 7.9Mw, and occurred at 02:28:01 PM China Standard Time at epicenter (06:28:01 UTC) on Monday, May 12 in Sichuan province, killed 69,197 people and left 18,222 missing.
It is also known as the Wenchuan earthquake (Chinese: 汶川大地震; pinyin: Wènchuān dà dìzhèn; literally: “Great Wenchuan Earthquake”), after the location of the earthquake’s epicenter, Wenchuan County, Sichuan. The epicenter was 80 kilometres (50 mi) west-northwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital, with a focaldepth of 19 km (12 mi).The earthquake was also felt in nearby countries and as far away as both Beijing and Shanghai—1,500 km (930 mi) and 1,700 km (1,060 mi) away—where office buildings swayed with the tremor. Strong aftershocks, some exceeding magnitude 6, continued to hit the area even months after the main quake, causing new casualties and damage.
Official figures (as of July 21, 2008 12:00 CST) stated that 69,197 were confirmed dead, including 68,636 in Sichuan province, and 374,176 injured, with 18,222 listed as missing.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 21st 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.