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Chinese Red Cross Dispatches Relief Supplies and Search and Rescue Teams to Earthquake Zone in Northwest China

In response to Wednesday’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake which reportedly killed hundreds of people and injured thousands more in Qinghai Province, the American Red Cross has pledged an initial $50,000 to help families affected by the earthquake and is prepared to offer more support if needed.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Red Cross has dispatched relief supplies, search and rescue teams, medical teams and a water and sanitation unit to the affected region.

“The Red Cross in China responded swiftly, sending tents, quilts and winter clothes to help families affected by the earthquake,” says Alex Mahoney, regional manager for the American Red Cross programs in Asia. “Assessment teams are on the ground and a Red Cross coordination office has been established in Yushu county.”

The Chinese Red Cross sent 500 tents, 4,000 quilts and 4,000 winter coats and clothing from their pre-positioned stocks within the country. Also, one search and rescue team, two medical teams and one water and sanitation unit are concentrating their assistance on the communities with the greatest need.

The Chinese Red Cross has six regional warehouses strategically located across China with pre-positioned relief supplies. Each provincial Red Cross office has response teams which are able to respond quickly and provide first aid and basic health care.

According to Chinese government reports, more than 600 people were killed, nearly 10,000 were injured, and over 100,000 people have lost their homes. However, these numbers will likely rise as rescuers continue to comb through the rubble in search of people trapped under collapsed homes, schools and other buildings.

The American Red Cross has staff on the ground in China who have been providing ongoing disaster recovery support following the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008.

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