Rising from The Rubble

Photograph for TIME by Ian Teh / Panos

Once a playground: Parents pray among the ruins of Beichuan No. 1 Middle School

Piles of red brick clutter the roadsides. Stacks of concrete drainage pipes fill parking lots. Newly resurfaced roads snake past rows of temporary housing, while stores do a brisk trade in paint and window frames. Like countless places in China, this corner of central Sichuan province is undergoing a building boom. But this is no typical growth story. When I was here six months ago, bodies jutted from the pancaked floors of collapsed buildings and lined rubble-strewn streets. Tens of thousands of homeless crowded into sports stadiums, and millions more slept in tents. The highway was riven...

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