China: Roused by Disaster

The quake has revealed the compassionate side of China's Me generation and put the government under unprecedented scrutiny. The country will never be the same

Ian Teh for TIME

Survivors shelter in the Mianyang stadium.

The highway leading to Yingxiu, a small town near the epicenter of China's May 12 earthquake, is rent by fissures big enough to swallow a child and is choked with smashed trucks and enormous rocks. Near the town's outskirts, just past a car that has been crushed by a boulder, a landslide cuts off the road entirely. A mother who walked into the mountains beyond to bring out her 12-year-old son says he's been scarred by what he's seen. The landscape they are leaving behind is hellish, she says--putrefying bodies, collapsed schools, buried roads and rows of wrecked houses. But the...

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