According to Caritas Hong Kong, the earthquake that shook the Sichuan Province in Southwest China a week ago has claimed the lives of 200 people and wounded 12,000 affecting over 1.5 million inhabitant living in the province. “In the villages I visited the most urgently needed supplies are tents, plastic sheeting and blankets as well as drugs, analgesics, anti-inflammatory soap, food, oil” says Br. Yi , a Caritas volunteers.
The Chinese government has been quick to respond and dispatch teams and troops as it is the second disaster hitting that the region in the past five years. Search and rescue teams are operating around the clock and desperately fighting against time to save as many lives as possible whilst the continuing aftershocks are impeding with their rescue efforts. The pressure is mounting as most of the relief materials can only be transported to the affected areas after the completion of the rescue team work.
Over 26,000 houses have been destroyed according to Caritas Hong Kong reports, but despite the familiarity with this type of disaster, the branch office of the Wanzhou Catholic Social Service Centre in Chongqing were not allowed to enter the quake hit area. The Emergency Command Centre has announced that only medical professionals and rescue teams are allowed to operate in the affected areas. According to an update by the Mianyang Ivy Social Service Center (MISC) tents, food and water are being provided by the government.