Disaster Alert: Earthquake in China’s Gansu Province

On July 22, 2013, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake, followed by hundreds of aftershocks, jolted China’s northwest Gansu Province, one of the country’s most under-developed regions. Ninety four people were initially reported dead, although that number is likely to rise in coming days. Hundreds were injured and some 227,000 people were displaced by the earthquake, which damaged 127,000 homes. Heavy rain is forecast to hit the affected area—potentially affecting rescue and relief efforts and increases chances of landslides or houses collapsing.

The Red Cross Society of China immediately responded to assess needs on the ground and dispatch relief supplies, including tents, family kits, jackets and quilts, and more items are being mobilized from warehouses around the country. A 24-member health Emergency Response Team, including volunteer doctors and psychosocial specialists, have also deployed to the affected area.

China is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries—with approximately 70% of its cities and half of its population located in disaster-prone areas. Earlier this year, the Red Cross Society of China responded to a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in the hit Sichuan province, which killed 196 people and injured over 13,400.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is closely monitoring the situation together with the Red Cross Society of China.

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