The Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, which occurred on 12 May 2008 in the Sichuan region of China (Figure 1), resulted in significant and widespread damage throughout a large area of central and western China. Official estimates of casualties released by the Chinese government include some 70,000 confirmed deaths, plus approximately 374,000 injured and 18,000 missing. Field investigations and seismic data show that the earthquake was triggered by active faults of the Longmen Shan thrust belt, located on the marginal zone between the high Tibetan plateau and the Sichuan basin. A 285-km-long surface rupture zone produced by the...

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