The earthquake struck just after 8:00 a.m. Beijing time with a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was Yaan, 72 miles southwest of the provincial capital, Chengdu. It left 160 people dead and more than 8,700 injured and caused major damage to several townships; it cut the supply of electricity and telecommunications in many areas. As soon as it heard the news, the foundation contacted volunteers in the area. They prepared more than 10,000 blankets and 10,000 packs of daily necessities. In addition, the branch of RT-Mart International Ltd in Chengdu is ready to provide materials for disaster relief; it is a hypermarket chain based in Taiwan.
On April 21, about 100 volunteers from the local area and Taiwan will gather and discuss how to help the survivors; they will survey the situation and look at routes and channels to deliver aid.
The foundation has been delivering charity work in Sichuan since the devastating Wenchuan earthquake of May 12, 2008, which killed more than 69,000 people. Since then, it has been providing relief goods and care to the victims. It has re-built 13 schools. Two of them, in Mingshan Township, are located in the area hit by the Yaan earthquake. The schools suffered no major damage, except for tiles which have fallen from the walls of old buildings. All the students escaped safely; but some suffered sprains and shock.
Article by Tzu Chi Foundation on April 20, 2013
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