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On 12 May, 2008, a devastating earthquake in Wenchuan County, in Sichuan, China, left nearly 70,000 people killed and over 18,000 missing. An additional 375,000 were injured and a staggering 4.8 million were left homeless as buildings and home collapsed everywhere.

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake, in 2013, the Wenchuan Earthquake Memorial Museum was opened in the town of Qushan, in Beichuan Qiang autonomous county. Designed by architect Cai Yongjie, of Tongji-University in Shanghai, the memorial takes the shape of a huge crack in the ground that functions as sunken pathways to large subterranean buildings topped with green roofs. The memorial landscape spans across the whole valley surrounded by hills and forests on one side, and bordered by a small road and by a four-lane highway on the other. This road leads to the old town of Beichuan, whose ruins are kept preserved as memory for the people.

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Photo credit: Cai Yongjie

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