2:00 P.M. EST April 22, 2010
A child sits on a temporary bed after the earthquake in China’s Qinghai
UMNS photos courtesy of karamibu.
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As China observed a national day of mourning for earthquake victims on
April 21, a team from the Amity Foundation, a United Methodist partner,
was assisting survivors.
More than 2,000 people were killed when the 7.1-magnitude earthquake
struck the Yushu area of China’s northwestern province of Qinghai on
More than 12,000 were injured and 175 remain missing, according to
Chinese officials. The affected area’s high altitude, near-freezing
temperatures and damaged roads have made rescue operations more
The Amity team now on the ground in Qinghai includes two staff members
who led a team of professional voluntary psychological counselors in the
Sichuan earthquake region in 2008, according to She Hongyu, an Amity
executive and director of the foundation’s research and development
Within a week of the earthquake, Amity distributed three shipments of
blankets, food and water. The fourth Amity shipment arrived in the
Qinghai province the night of April 21, She reported. Rice, flour,
blankets and mineral water from that shipment were distributed in three
Amity staff also delivered medical supplies to emergency medical teams
and candles to the school in Longbao Town, where classes were scheduled
to resume. Another shipment was being assembled in Xining, the
On April 20, Amity relief workers visited villagers in Zanian Village,
Longbao Township, for the third time, bringing 8 tons of flour; 2 tons
of rice; 2,000 bottles of mineral water; and 1,000 cartons of beef
sausages. The fact that “people from thousands of miles away care about
us” gives them new hope, one villager said.
Amity has provided community and environmental programs in Yushu – where
the vast majority of the population is ethnic Tibetan – for a number of
years. Most of its 100,000 inhabitants are spread over a wide area and
are farmers, traders or others with limited economic capacity to recover
from the earthquake, according to Amity.
The government of Hong Kong approved a $580,000 grant to support Amity’s
emergency relief work in Yushu. The foundation is preparing a proposal
to submit to Action by Churches Together. The United Methodist Committee
on Relief will make a grant once an appeal is launched by the ACT
The same partnership of UMCOR, Amity and ACT responded to the massive
May 12, 2008, earthquake that killed more than 70,000 and left 18,000
missing, causing extensive damage in China's heavily populated Sichuan
Donations to support UMCOR’s response and help earthquake survivors can
be made to International Disaster Response, China Earthquake, UMCOR
Advance #982450. Donations can be placed in church offering plates, sent
by mail or made online. Details are available at www.umcor.org.
*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New York.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.