China

ACT alert China 1/2003: Earthquake

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Geneva, 25 February, 2003 - An earthquake measuring 6.8 Richter scale hit the remote mid west part of Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China at 10:03 a.m. yesterday morning. 257 people are reported dead and over 2000 seriously injured informs ACT member in China, Amity Foundation. According to local news reports the earthquake not only caused many casualties but severe damage to buildings.
The Xinjiang region is located in the northwestern part of China, bordering Kyrgyztan. The remote region is a mountainous high-risk earthquake zone. The earthquake rocked Jiashi and Bachu counties.

The quake hit close to the center of Bachu, home to 370,000 people. Many aftershocks have been felt. Freezing temperatures has increased the suffering of those left homeless an estimated 10,000 people.

Rescuers have been deployed by the government and are working through the rubble looking for survivors. It is estimated that the death toll could increase as the rescue activities continue.

ACT member, Amity Foundation reports that the most needed relief materials in the quake-hit areas are water, food rice, quilts, tents and medicine. They are assessing the situation and the need for an ACT response.

Thank you for your attention.

For further information please contact:

ACT Director, Thor-Arne Prois (phone +41 22 791 6032 or mobile phone + 41 79 203 6055) or
ACT Appeals Officer, Elsa Moreno, (phone +41 22 791 6420 or mobile phone +41 79 608 8133)
ACT Web site: www.act-intl.org

ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.