The American Red Cross has pledged an initial $50,000 to help families affected by Wednesday’s earthquake in China’s Qinghai Province, and is prepared to offer more assistance as local responders assess the situation and if international assistance is requested.
“Initial reports indicate extensive damage in Yushu county, with continuing aftershocks,” says Alex Mahoney, regional manager for the American Red Cross programs in Asia. “When earthquakes happen, we expect to see immediate needs for food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support, as well as for warm clothing and quilts due to the location of this quake.”
The epicenter of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake was about 30 miles away from Jiegu Township, which has a population of 250,000 in and around the town. According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, early estimates are that more than 400 people have been killed and at least 10,000 injured.
The American Red Cross has staff on the ground in China who provide ongoing disaster recovery support following the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008.
The Red Cross Society of China, the primary disaster response organization in China and a sister society to the American Red Cross, has immediately released relief supplies from their regional warehouse, including 500 winter tents, 1,000 winter coats and clothing, 1,000 quilts and nearly $15,000 to go towards providing food and non-food items locally in Qinghai.
The Red Cross Society of China 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.
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