Building back better in the aftermath of disaster
Following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, the Wenchuan Earthquake Recovery Project helped to restore essential infrastructure, health, and education services, promote disaster risk reduction, and enhance local capacity to manage recovery.
ONE OF THE COSTLIEST AND DEADLIEST EARTHQUAKES IN RECENT HISTORY
Facing a range of natural hazards including flooding, landslides and wildfires, southwestern China also sits on an active fault system, putting the region at high risk of major seismic events. On May 12, 2008, that risk became reality when an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck the region, centered in Wenchuan county of Sichuan province. Leaving a trail of death and destruction across six provinces — Sichuan,
Gansu, Shaanxi, Henan, Yunnan, and Hubei — the Wenchuan earthquake claimed the lives of over 69,000 people and resulted in 374,000 people injured and 18,000 missing.
The costliest earthquake to hit China since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, the Wenchuan earthquake caused staggering economic losses in the six affected provinces. Total direct economic losses are estimated to be over US$133 billion, with Sichuan and Gansu provinces bearing the brunt of these losses. Asset damage was severe and widespread in the six provinces, including: 34,000 kilometers of highways destroyed; 1,263 reservoirs damaged; 7,444 schools and 11,028 hospitals and clinics in a state of collapse; and the houses of more than 4 million families either destroyed or damaged.