Mapping the earthquake zone

More than 71,000 people are dead, missing or buried under rubble following the devastating earthquake that hit China's Sichuan province. Click on the map to find out more about some of the worst-affected places.

MianyangMianzhuYingxiuDujiangyanDeyangShifangWenchuan CityBeichuan CityHanwang


Woman at stadium in Mianyang
Woman at stadium in Mianyang

• Thousands of people reported dead or trapped under rubble

• The government has issued a precautionary alert against possible radiation leaks - the area is home to China's main nuclear weapons research laboratory

• Some 10,000 people have been moved into the Jiuzhou gymnasium for shelter after their homes were destroyed

• Mianyang city has also been inundated with thousands of people leaving the villages in the surrounding mountains in search of aid

Soon after the quake hit, the BBC's Michael Bristow said a local sports stadium had been turned into a refugee centre and was the scene of emotional family reunions:

"We witnessed a very, very moving scene when a man was desperately trying to reach his 18-year-old daughter on the telephone. He hadn't seen her since the earthquake. In fact, the daughter didn't know her family were alive and we've just seen them meet for the first time since the earthquake. Everyone was very overcome and crying."


People in Dujiangyan watch the recovery effort

• Population of 60,000 people, about 50km (32 miles) from the epicentre

• Most of the 1,000 staff and students trapped in a Juyuan Middle School, in a township of Dujiangyan, are now known to have died

• Many people in the city who lost their homes are now living in tented camps, but food and water is in short supply and toilet facilities are extremely limited

• Some 2,000 troops were sent to the Zipingku dam above Dujiangyan over fears for its stability. It has now been pronounced stable and safe, but there are concerns for hundreds of other dams in the area.


• Over half of the town's population of 10,000 have died

• Almost half of the survivors were reported to be badly injured

• Hundreds of soldiers have been sent in by helicopter and boat

• One man in Yiangxiu, Ma Yuanjiang, was one of the last survivors to be found. He was rescued from the rubble of a power station on 20 May.

• Premier Wen Jiabao visited the town over the weekend, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.


Collapsed buildings in Deyang
Collapsed buildings in Deyang

• Thousands of people are thought to have died in the city

• Many of the dead were schoolchildren - at least six schools collapsed in the earthquake

• The city government estimates the economic cost of the earthquake at 200m yuan ($28.5m).


• Two chemical plants collapsed, releasing a huge toxic cloud. South Korean rescuers have been searching through the rubble at one of the plants with life-detection equipment but have found no-one alive

• The town square in Shifang has become a tent camp for 2,000 people, though more tents are needed, according to relief co-ordinators

• Troops wearing facemasks used a mechanical shovel to dig graves for the victims, the Associated Press reports. Bodies wrapped in white sheets were buried in a mass grave lined with lime.


• Volunteers from Taiwanese Buddhist charity groups are on the scene and several hundred tonnes of donated relief have been despatched.


• Chinese President Hu Jintao toured the devastation in Wenchuan soon after the disaster, making a speech praising rescue workers even as an aftershock made the ground shake beneath his feet

• The earthquake blocked many roads leading to the city, one of the closest to the epicentre, and in the days immediately after the quake rescuers struggled to reach it.


People fleeing from Beichuan 17/5/08
People sought refuge on the hills surrounding the destroyed city
• Officials say 80% of buildings in the old town and 60% in the new town have been destroyed. Soldiers who were parachuted in found survivors lying alongside the dead

• The death toll in Beichuan County is estimated at 3,000 to 5,000, with nearly 10,000 injured

• Reuters reports that in some villages near Beichuan, residents complained in the first days after the quake that they had little to eat and were forced to drink contaminated water to keep themselves alive

• Dozens of lakes were formed when landslides triggered by the earthquake blocked rivers. Of particular concern is the Tangjiashan lake, 2 miles (3km) from Beichuan, which officials fear is at risk of flooding, putting thousands of homes at risk.


A girl who survived her school collapsing in Hanwang receives treatment - 15/05/08
Survivor of Hanwang school collapse
• Most major buildings including several schools and three hospitals have been destroyed in the town of 70,000 people. Those that are still standing look damaged beyond repair

• Parents anxiously waiting for bodies to be pulled out of the wreckage of one school said they heard voices coming from the rubble just after the earthquake which got fainter as time went on.

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