Narrow and winding roads twirling around and across mountains with deep ravines and overhanging rock structures, are common settings which surround aid workers in their daily journeys to reach quake survivors in the worst-affected counties of Lushan and Baoxing during the acute phase of the disaster.  Aftershocks and continuous wet weather posed serious menaces of landslides and mudslides.

Safety is paramount to the government relief coordinators.  Conscious, constant and concerted monitoring of landslides and mudslides are carried out by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the local police department, as they redirected traffic and closed roads where necessary, to protect villagers and aid personnel.    Negotiating the tricky terrains and at times having to keep in the beeline of relief trucks, the Mercy Relief (MR) teams personally delivered two batches of relief supplies including tarpaulins for shelter, food and hygiene essentials worth SGD50,000 to the affected communities at the quake’s epicenter in Lushan County.  A third batch of relief supplies centering on children’s needs will be delivered before May Day.

Humanitarian spirit was evident on and around the grounds.  Whilst rescue and relief workers worked round the clock, corporate entities are stepping forward to support the relief operations in ways they are well acquainted to and most effective at.  The Millennium Hotel Chengdu was one, providing complimentary accommodation to the relief teams of Singapore-born MR, whose first response team arrived in Sichuan within 48 hours of the 6.6-Richter quake which occurred on 20 April.

Welcoming the support from Millennium Hotel Chengdu, MR Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad said from Lushan County, “Effective and efficient relief operations hinge on the accessibility to appropriate and ready resources, which substantially reside within the corporate domain.  While cash donations are ideal as they allow aid organisations the flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing needs on the grounds, the willingness and ability of Millennium Hotel to make available its relevant resources in support of this relief efforts helps to enhance response time and reduce operations costs.”

In Singapore, MR launched a public fundraising appeal from 23rd Apr  to 31st May 2013 to support its relief and recovery efforts for victims of the Sichuan quake.

 

(left) MR trucks carrying relief supplies and aid personnel, move to and fro narrow mountain passings flanked by steep and deep ravines.

(right) Aftershocks and continuous rains trigger landslides and mudslides, at times accompanied by boulders as large as prime movers,  threatening the safety of relief workers and cutting access to affected communities.

 

Devastated dwellings, lost livelihood – Houses (left) and shops (right) were completely destroyed

 

Devastated but not defeated – Despite losing their homes and belongings, the survivors volunteered themselves to help the MR teams in Lushan County with the Singapore NGO’s relief operations there.

 

In addition to providing complimentary accommodation and meals to the MR teams, Millennium Hotel Chengdu also had its staff from various departments to help MR sort Play Packs comprising recreational and stationery items for distribution to the affected children.

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