Earthquake in Sichuan, China

Another earthquake struck Sichuan in China 20 April 2013 with a 6.6 magnitude, centred 50km (31 miles) west of the town of Linqiong. It has killed at least 72 people and injured at least 400 in China's south-western province of Sichuan, state TV reports.

Compare this with the one on May 12, 2008 where a 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan Province, a mountainous region in Western China, killing about 70,000 people and leaving over 18,000 missing. Over 15 million people lived in the affected area, including almost 4 million in the city of Chengdu.

Why is Sichuan prone to earthquake?
Look at the map below:
What is an epicenter? Why is damage highest nearer to the epicenter?

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