Credit: Jinde Charities

Credit: Jinde Charities

Rescuers are looking for survivors after a strong earthquake hit a poor region of northwest China. About 123,000 people were affected by the quake, which struck at 7.45 on 22 July near the city of Dingxi in Gansu province.

Staff members from a local Caritas partner organisation, Jinde Charities, are working with the Lanzhou Social Service Centre. Its staff visited the disaster area on the same day the quake hit to do an assessment.

Although  Gansu is one of China’s less densely populated provinces, it is a poverty stricken area. Heavy rain is expected later in the week, raising the need for shelter and increasing the possibility of landslides.

China’s worst earthquake in recent years struck the southwestern province of Sichuan in 2008. Measuring magnitude 7.9, it left 90,000 people dead or missing.

In November, 2011, Jinde conducted a training on emergency response and invited eight church based organisations in China to participate. Lanzhou Social Service Centre was one of the participants.

Jinde Charities continues to remain in close contact with the earthquake area to coordinate relief efforts. Through its website , it invites supporters to pray and to be in solidarity with brothers and sisters affected by the earthquake.