May 12, 2008


Mw=7.9 earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan, China levels entire villages, kills 69,195 people with an additional 18,392 missing, and leaves at least 5 million people homeless.  Many collapsed buildings are multi-story, made of poorly confined masonry walls with precast concrete plank roofs.  This building type is common in China, Central Asia and Eastern Europe and likely to result in more devastation in future events.