On July 22, 2013, two powerful earthquakes struck a populous farming region near Dingxi, Gansu Province, in northwest China. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the magnitude of the initial earthquake at 5.9 and the second at 5.6. The Chinese government measured the first quake at 6.6.
The earthquakes have left at least 94 people dead and 1,001 injured. Nearly 2,000 homes were destroyed and about 22,500 severely damaged. The Associated Press reported that about 123,000 people were affected by the quake, with 31,600 moved to temporary shelters.
One of China’s poorest areas, Dingxi’s local economy is built on farming yams, apricots and walnuts. The average income in the area is very low. Many of the affected houses were crudely built from mud bricks.
The same day as it learned of the earthquake, the Amity Foundation - CWS’s ACT partner in China - initiated emergency rescue efforts, dispatching its Emergency Rescue Team to the quake-hit areas, reports Mr. Miao Jianbing in Amity’s Research and Development Center, Nanjing.
With their houses collapsed in the earthquake, many villagers can only sleep outdoors, desperately short of food, water and other necessities of life. In response, Amity purchased emergency relief supplies. The initial shipment of 16 tons of flour, 300 boxes of bottled drinking water and 300 boxes of instant noodles reached Shendu Township of Min County (Minxian) July 23 and were distributed to affected residents July 24.
As a fellow member of The ACT Alliance, Church World Service will support The Amity Foundation, which already has begun to help worst-affected survivors with urgently needed relief items.