Ludian Earthquake - Update

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August 22

On 20 August the Hong Kong Disaster Relief Fund approved grants of HKD 6.317 million to the Amity Foundation for providing relief to earthquake victims in Yunnan Province on the Mainland.

The grants are provided for four townships in Ludian County, Qiaojia County and Huize County. The relief goods include 450 tons of rice, 7,500 buckets of cooking oil, 5,000 quilts and mosquito nets as well 3,000 folding beds. A total of 7,500 families, equal to 30,000 people, will benefit from the grants.

A government official said that the earthquake disaster in Yunnan had caused heavy casualties and extensive damage. Many victims are in dire need of emergency relief to tide them over the present difficulties and help them to restore their normal life.

Since the first day of the disaster Amity emergency relief staff is working persistently in the seismic area to bring relief to the victims. The distribution of the relief goods granted by the Hong Kong government will began on 21 August.

Some of Amity's latest work on-site:

Due to continuous rain and sodden soil, folding beds are highly appreciated by affected people.

Villagers standing line and using their fingermarks to confirm the receit of relief goods.

Remote villages are still cut off from the outside world because of destroyed roads. Villagers have to approach the distribution sites by foot.

In order to receive urgent needed tarpaulins and cooking oil villagers take the burdon of exhausting marches.

August 20

The Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Archbishop Relief Fund donated 100,000 HKD on 20 August 2014 to Amity's relief aid to support the victims of Ludian earthquake. During the last few days, additional folding beds and rain clothes have been distributed to people in need after roads were reopened and remote communities became accessible by trucks. Today, washing kits could be distributed to families, including a bag of washing powder, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, washing basins and a cup.

Beneficiaries signing the receipt of relief goods.

Unloading of relief goods during rain (left). Mothers and kids on their way home after receiving washing kits (right)

Village kids waiting and interacting with the photographer during distribution (left). Trucks with relief goods ready to decamp to the disaster-hit areas (right)

Volunteers unloading folding beds that were desperatley needed after homeless people had to sleep on the soil or in makeshift beds for more than two weeks.

On Amity’s micro blogs, user can monitor their donations. Amity staff provides detailed information for supporters, about the type and amount of relief goods, the date and the place of distribution. Hereby Amity ensures a high standard of accountability and transparency.

Tecent / QQ-messenger

Sina / WeChat-messenger

Amity wants to thank all donors for the continued support!

August 18

As Amity’s relief work continues, another earthquake with the magnitude of 5.1 occurred in Yongshan County within the Zhaotong Prefecture on August 17. Amity staff, who are working in the adjacent county Ludian, reported that the earthquake was clearly obvious.  Fourteen people are reported being injured. Houses are collapsed and infrastructure is severely damaged. Amity will also give attention to the future development in Yongshan.

On August 16, a team of nine people arrived at the disaster hit-area in Ludian, rotating the colleagues in place. Up to now, Amity has sent 24 people to Ludian County supporting the disaster relief work.

After the second week of earthquake, Amity is increasingly carrying out rehabilitation aspects. Many villagers are still living in tents and cannot return to their destroyed or uninhabitable houses. The need for social workers and social service work has become more and more important. Unbearable humidity and mosquitoes hardening the life in the emergency shelters and letting the victims think even more about their losses. Besides daily necessities, human attendance and affection are very important.

As houses are dilapidated, heavy machinery will be needed for rebuilding and reconstruction. Up to that point, there is still much need to provide a minimum of acceptable living circumstances for the victims.

Read an interview with He Wen, leader of Amity's rescue team on-site and experience more about his assessment.

On August 17, following figures of relief goods have been already delivered or are at a stage of transport:

Distributed relief supplies

Stage of transport

Rice (kg)

252,548

Cookware sets

2,000

Cooking oil (liter)

7,881

Sanitary packages

6,000

Bottles of water

20,500

Washing kits

2,000

Bags of salt

4,060

Tarpaulins

800

Washing kits

2,000

Cooking oil

420

Sanitary packages

3,000

Folding beds

830

Quilt and pillow sets

4,000

Quilts

2,500

Makeshift beds

2,000

Cookware sets

408

Tarpaulins

1,200

Folding beds

170

Essential relief goods being transported to the disaster-stricken regions / Villagers showing dilapidated houses that are extremely dangerous to acces / The situation of families and their accommodation remains difficult / Social worker distribute drawing equipment for kids

August 15

These pictures show Amity's latest relief work in Yunnan during the second week after the earthquake.

A mother with a young child laughing into the camera during the distribution of relief goods. Villagers help to stack rice bags and relief goods for the distribution

One of Amity's storage and distribution places

Rice bags are unloaded of a truck / Dedicated volunteer is lifting a package of relief goods / Volunteer is giving out toys to children

Volunteers, villagers and Amity staff jointly lifting relief goods to prepare the distribution

Residents who lost their houses. Blankets are provided for the homeless people / The distribution of relief items are registered and the beneficiaries' names are noted

 

August 11

During the weekend Amity staff continued distributing relief goods for the victims of the Ludian Earthquake. At the present time 617 people are reported dead and 112 are still missing. Amid the wails of car horns and sirens, all people at the public places around Yunnan stood in the 3-minute silent tribute to the victims.

Our thoughts turn also to those who lost a mother, a father, a brother, sister or another beloved person in their life. Besides the loss of their property they have to carry the biggest burden - The loss of family members and loved ones. May they find the strength to stand up again and rebuilt their lives!

Amity wants to thank all the donors, partners, volunteers and the staff on-site who are nonstop contributing to the emergency relief efforts. This engagement is preventing things from getting worse.

To understand the necessities of the affected people, Amity is reaching out to remote villages and single houses in the mountains of Yunnan every day. On August 9, Amity distributed 500 buckets of daily necessities and sanitary products that were desperately required by villagers.

Li Juan, member of Amity’s emergency team explains Amity’s approach and purpose of short-surveys in the field. Short-surveys provide the understanding for the actual requirements of affected people, help to set up a team of local volunteers and function as a basis for the evaluation and the improvement of disaster relief projects in the future.

Read the whole interview with Li Juan.

Amity receives great support from local villagers who are volunteering in Amity’s relief work on-site. The integrated approach is one of Amity’s core elements. The involvement and participation of residents provide indispensable local knowledge and boost efficiency and sustainability of the disaster relief.

Read the story of the volunteer Guo Taiquan “My fellow countrymen need me.”

Local volunteer drivers spare neither efforts nor risks to help the victims of the disaster

Amity staff and volunteers distribute relief goods

August 7

On the fifth day after the disaster, a road that leads to remote mountainous villages were restored and reopened. That evening Amity staff was decamping to the villages to find about the situation before delivering eagerly-awaited relief supplies. From 3am to 6am in the morning, Amity staff camped at the roadside and took then much needed rest until construction workers finished clearing the road of debris caused by landslides. Thus, before 8am the first supplies could be distributed to villagers in need.

Thanks to compassionate people who care, has reached 6.5 million Yuan. More than 140,000 users participated in Amity's Online Donations Campaigns. Amity is focusing very much on the transparency of the relief work in the disaster-hit areas. Beside general daily updates, the amount and type of relief supplies, the location and number of beneficiaries, as well as the donor groups of the specific relief batches are published on a daily basis. Through use of communication technology, real-time updates with photos are also available on the (Chinese) website and various social-media platforms as micro-blogs:

Tecent / QQ-messenger

Sina / WeChat-messenger

August 6

As rescue teams get access to remote villages on the third day of the disaster, death toll rises to 589 and more than 2,800 people are wounded. More than 230,000 people have been relocated and are still suffering shortages of water, food and shelter. Hundreds and thousands of residents are still cut off from general supplies.

Amity staff on-site is continuously working to purchase and deliver relief goods to the victims of the Ludian earthquake. Amity staff at home is undergoing tremendous efforts to raise funds and to equip the emergency relief teams with the needed capacities, so more people in need can be supported. Up to August 6, Amity has raised more than 5,300,000 Yuan from domestic funds for the victims of the disaster.

Ludian County in Yunnan is an impoverished and mountainous region of China, where many people, especially in the remote countryside, are still living below the poverty line. Many houses were built with simple mud-bricks and are quite vulnerable in earthquakes. Poverty and difficult terrain are the reasons why, although the magnitude of the earthquake did not seem so high, the impact was terrible and caused that many victims and devastation of buildings and infrastructure.

"Armed police" drag relief supplies. Relief goods are distributed. Resident stands in front of the debris of his former house

Victims who lost everything dig clothes and all kind of objects out of the debris. Young villagers volunteer for Amity and access remote villages on their motorbikes

August 5

According to a report of the Provincial Civil Affairs Department the Ludian Earthquake, the strongest in 14 years affected almost 1.09 million people in Ludian and Qiaojia County. The number of the dead rose up to 410 and the number of injured people up to 2,300. Preliminary statistics state the collapse of nearly 80,000 houses and 124,000 more got severely damaged.

Rescue teams are racing against time and the death toll is expected to increase further. Continuous rainfall, falling rocks and landslides hindering the rebuilding of infrastructure and making the supply of relief goods difficult and dangerous. Many people, who are still cut off from communication, are in urgent need for basic sustenance like water and food.

On the third day, Amity’s disaster relief efforts are continuing. Amity’s disaster relief emergency teams are on-site surveying the needs of the people and are organizing the transport of relief supplies to bring bottled water, rice and oil to the needy.

While the first out of three Amity teams is researching the situation and needs of affected people, the other two teams have already distributed 10,000 bottles of water, 480 liter of cooking oil and over 48 tons of rice to 1,004 households in three villages and the township of Huodehong.

Meanwhile, another batch of supplies is on the way into the disaster-struck area. It includes 957 liter of oil, 1.28 tons of rice, 2 tons of salt and 500 bottles of mineral water.

Landslides and destroyed infrastructure exacerbate the work of the emergency relief

Villagers line up to receive supplies

Villagers have to sign and register for receiving relief supplies.