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Southwestern China

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Original author: 
Jason Lee

It took more than 12 hours by plane and long-distance bus to travel from Beijing to what is believed to be the last community authorized by Chinese government to keep guns.

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Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, a magnitude 8.0 quake which struck a mountainous region in southwestern China, destroying several villages, killing more than 70,000, and leaving another 18,000 still listed as missing. In the hard-hit town of Beichuan, dozens of massive buildings toppled or collapsed. Chinese authorities decided to stabilize the remaining buildings after the earthquake, preserving the entire town as a memorial to the tremendous loss. Collected here are photographs of Beichuan as it stands today, mourners paying their respects, a newly-opened museum, and some of the rebuilding taking place in the region. See also: The Legacy of Sichuan's Big Earthquake. [26 photos]

Residents gather before a monument on the 5th anniversary of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, on May 12, 2013, in Yingxiu township of Wenchuan county, Sichuan province. China. (AFP/Getty Images)     

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