Take this how you will, This comes direct from a BioWare Employee.
"The Normandy was NOT going through the Relay"
"The Normandy is still in the Sol system"
btw if the normandy is in the Sol system did we bring a planet with us also in the battle because I cannot work out how it could be earth they crashed on as the reapers pretty much nuked it and they crashed in a green lush place
From the start some have said Normandy Crashed in Africa. Reaper focus was in London(Anderson said this a few times) & Vancouver.
Other parts of the world could be untouched for the moment by the time Shepard arrived back on earth. We only saw London & Vancouver we have no idea what the rest of world looks like. I doubt the reapers would nuke a Jungle for no reason.
I believe it was stated somewhere the more popularity area was Reapers focus and moving to small areas once the large areas are taken care of.
This just shows how bad the endings are. if BioWare Employees have to tell us whats going on they failed horrible with the Ending.