The devastating 6.6 magnitude earthquake which hit Gansu province on Monday morning caused  immense damage across its Min and Zhang counties, where nearly 100 lives perished and 300,000 more displaced from their homes.  Responding to a direct request for humanitarian assistance from the Zhang County Poverty Alleviation & Development Bureau (ZCPADB), Mercy Relief’s (MR) 4-man team reached the affected village of Jiu Dian this afternoon to distribute survival essentials to the displaced survivors there.

The MR team landed in Gansu via Sichuan, within 24 hours of receiving the appeal for assistance, and met with the Head of ZCPADB, Chang Yu Zhong, to receive first-hand information on the situation, and personally recce the affected grounds.  Amidst temperatures hovering 14 degrees Celsius and persistent rains, the team went on to procure the first batch of supplies including 500 blankets, paediatric medicines and 6,000 milk packs to address the basic needs of the survivors, particularly the young, sick and vulnerable.  The RMB60,000-worth of supplies reached Jiu Dian village on Thursday afternoon and saw the immediate distribution to 500 affected families.

Commenting from Zhang county, MR Senior Programme Manager for China, Tsai Pi Kuang shared, “Similar to the Lushan earthquake which we responded to back in April, this wet weather condition further exposes the displaced victims to natural elements such as rains and strong winds.  Mudslides and landslides further threaten the safety and well-being of the survivors, rescuers and aid workers, and in tandem, delaying the delivery of relief supplies and hinder rescue work.  Due to the high altitude, it is important that aid supplies, including blankets and medicines, reach the survivors quickly to prevent or mitigate any risk of a secondary disaster such as an outbreak of diseases.”

Back at its Singapore HQ, MR has launched a public fundraising appeal from 25th Jul  to 31st Aug 2013 to support its relief and recovery efforts for the quake victims.

 

(left) MR Senior Programme Manager Tsai Pi Kuang and Assistant Director Khairul Massuan presenting MR’s official statement of commitment to ZCPADB Head Chang Yu Zhong. 

(right) Trucks carrying MR’s aid supplies to the affected areas of Zhang county.

 

Scenes of ruins across the substantially-damaged Zhang county.

 

MR team unloading the first batch of relief supplies at Jiu Dian village for distribution to 500 affected families.

 

Beneficiaries collecting aid items at the distribution centre in Jiu Dian village, amidst cold weather conditions.

30-year-old Mr Qiao ( in green) recounted to the MR team on his family’s quake experience,  prevailing plight and anxious future.

* MR has been implementing relief and development projects in three provinces of China – Sichuan, Qinghai & Shanxi – continuously since 2008.  For more details on these efforts, please refer to the following link to read on these projects:  http://www.mercyrelief.org/Web/Contents/Contents.aspx?Id=36

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance. 

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org