UMCOR Partner Visits Quake Area
April 15, 2010—Within 24 hours of the earthquake that rocked Qinghai Province in northwestern China, UMCOR partner The Amity Foundation sent a delegation to the disaster area to assess damages and needs.
The delegation, which includes Assistant General Secretary He Wen and two other Amity executives, departed Thursday morning for Yushu County, the earthquake’s epicenter. The group will carry out a needs-based assessment and distribute tents, quilts, water and food among survivors.
On Wednesday, April 14, an earthquake measuring 6.9 rocked Qinghai Province at 7:49 a.m. It took the lives of an estimated 617 people and left another 313 missing and 9,110 injured, the Chinese news agency Xinhua said.
According to The New York Times, there have been at least 18 strong aftershocks, and China National Radio reported that more than 80 percent of homes in the disaster area have collapsed.
Because the earthquake area is located high on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, “oxygen and good health are a must for the team” that traveled there today, wrote an Amity executive in an email message to UMCOR.
Amity is an independent Chinese voluntary organization created in 1985 by Chinese Christians to promote health, education, social services and rural development. Disaster relief and reconstruction figure among its chief program areas. The organization has been working in Yushu on integrated community development and environmental programs.
The Amity Foundation was a key partner with UMCOR in responding to a massive earthquake in Sichuan Province in China in 2008. Nearly 87,000 people died in that earthquake.