World Vision Media Relations
Sichuan Province, China (April 20, 2013) — Following an early-morning earthquake in China's Sichuan Province, World Vision staff are mobilizing to distribute hygiene kits and child-friendly kits (toys, basic hygiene items) to families made homeless by the quake. The earthquake measured 7.0 by China's seismological bureau and 6.6 from the U.S. Geological Survey. Emergency responders will also be part of a rapid assessment done in coordination with local authorities. It is believed at least 113 people have been killed and more than 3,000 injured. In addition, homes in the area have collapsed due to the tremors and phone lines and electricity are out in many parts of the province.
"I talked to my mom right after the earthquake hit," said Merry Zou, an emergency affairs officer with World Vision in China. "She said this earthquake felt much stronger than the one in 2008. She ran and hid in the bathroom, but my grandmother couldn't get out of her bed because the shaking was so strong. It lasted a long time, what a horrible morning."
About 140 kilometers from Ya'an, the epicenter of the earthquake, family members of World Vision's staff who live in Chengdu (the capital of Sichuan Province) reported feeling the quake. People in the neighboring provinces of Guizhou, Gansu, Shaanxi, and Yunnan also felt the quake.
Over the past several hours, at least 22 aftershocks have been recorded in Sichuan Province. In 2008, a 8.0 earthquake struck the province, killing nearly 70,000 people and leaving 4.2 million homeless. Another 20,000 people still remain missing from that disaster. World Vision's response helped an estimated 2.2 million people rebuild their lives. The 2008 quake was one of the deadliest earthquakes in the province's history.
Emergency response staff are available for interviews. Please contact Laura Blank at +1.708.872.5265.
- END -
About World Vision:World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews