Earthquake Hazard in Eastern China. Source: Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program. Nature of Seismic Hazard in Sichuan . Yunnan - Sichuan . 32 earthquakes with M s > 7 1500 years ago (Gu, 1983; Ma, 1989).
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Source: Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program
Chinese government revised the building code after a major earthquake shattered Tangshan, claiming 240,000 lives in 1976.
The code was upgraded in 1989 and dubbed “the 89 standard.”
The 89 standard spells out detailed requirements for construction materials and design with a clear goal: Buildings should remain intact after minor shaking, receive repairable damage after moderate shaking, and remain standing after a major earthquake.
Juyuan Middle School in Dujiangyan city, near the earthquake's epicenter
Kindergarten in Chengdu
Xinjian Primary School in Dujiangyan
Desks are seen in the ruins of a school destroyed Monday's earthquake, in Dujiangyan, in China's southwest Sichuan province Saturday May 17, 2008. China is to launch an investigation into why almost 7000 schoolrooms were destroyed and thousands of children killed in the earthquake, after accusations that the schools were shoddily built. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
A student from another school looks through books found in the ruins of the Juyuan Middle School, in Dujiangyan, in China's southwest Sichuan province Saturday May 17, 2008. All but a handful of the school's 900 students were killed when the school collapsed in Monday's earthquake.
Parents hold photos of their children during a memorial service for students killed in last week's earthquake at a primary school in Mianzhu, in China's southwest Sichuan province Wednesday May 21, 2008. Parents held a memorial ceremony Wednesday for the more than 130 students killed when their school collapsed in a massive earthquake on May 12. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
This kindergarten was among the many schools in the disaster region that suffered heavy structural damage.
Friday May 16, 2008, photo, distributed by the official Chinese news agency Xinhua, shows a dead student's hand holding a pen tightly in the debris site of Dongqi Middle School in Hanwang Town of quake-hit Mianzhu City, southwest China's Sichuan province. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Liu Zhongjun)