China: Earthquake - Information Bulletin n° 1


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 185 countries.

In Brief

This Information Bulletin is being issued for information only. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time. The earthquake which hit Yunnan Province, southwest China, has caused three deaths and hundreds of thousands to be evacuated. Aftershocks continue to be felt and many people seek temporary shelter in public places. Since mid- May, southern China has been hit by severe storms, causing floods and landslides. The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) have responded to these recent disasters by mobilizing relief goods and conducting assessments.

The Situation

Three people have been confirmed dead, and at least 300 injured after a strong earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale(1) struck southwest China's Yunnan Province on Sunday 3 June 2007.

According to the provincial civil affairs department, the quake, which affected 186,000 people in 35,000 households, also forced the evacuation of 120,000 residents. Many residents have moved to public areas as their houses have either collapsed or damaged. Some communications, water and power supplies to the county were also affected.

The city's seismic bureau had recorded more than 300 aftershocks by 3:30pm with the strongest occurring at 10:49am, with a magnitude of 5.1, centred at 23.02 degrees north and 101.06 degrees east.

Ning'er County, covering 3,670 square kilometres, has a population of 190,000. It had reported nine quakes measuring five or above on the Richter scale in history, with the strongest at 6.8 which occurred on 15 March 1979.

A total of 79 people were killed or left missing in floods, landslides or mud-rock flows since mid-May according to the ministry of civil affairs. Severe storms in southern China led to natural disasters in many provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, including Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Chongqing and Sichuan.

According to the ministry, these disasters triggered by heavy rainfall had affected 13.57 million people, including 214,000 who had to be relocated. The disasters destroyed 29,000 houses, causing direct economic losses of CNY 1.71 billion (CHF 275 million.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has immediately released relief items from their regional disaster preparedness warehouse in Yunnan province to the earthquake areas. These relief material include 150 tents, 2,500 quilts, 35MT of rice and 400 family kits.

The RCSC Yunnan Provincial branch has sent an assessment team led by the vice-president of the branch to assess the situation in the affected areas. A working group from the headquarters, led by the vice-president will leave for Yunnan province today to support the Yunnan Red Cross branch's disaster response efforts.

RCSC Headquarters Emergency Response Distribution
January 2007 - present

Province Month Type of Disasters Types of Relief Supplies Value (CNY) Value in CHF
Liao Ning March Snowstorm Quilts 153,600 24,381
Inner Mongolia March Snowstorm Quilts 76,800 12,190
Chongqing April Hailstorm Warm Clothes, quilts 188,200 29,873
May Heavy rain Summer family kits, tents, water purification tablets 318,991 50,633
Sichuan April Hailstorms Quilts, tents 289,692 45,983
Hunan April Hailstorms Quilts 79,500 12,619
May Heavy rain Water purification tablets, disinfectant, quilts 137,000 21,746
Guizhou April Hailstone Quilts, tents 191,232 30,354
Yunnan June Earthquake Tents, quilts, summer family kits and rice 392,196 62,253
Total 1,827,211 290,033

Table showing RCSC headquarters relief distribution for 2007

How we work

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

The Federation's Global Agenda The International Federation's activities are aligned with under a Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Contact information

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Red Cross Society of China: Wang Xiaohua (director of external relations department); email:; phone: +86.10.6404.8366, fax +86.10.6402.9928.

Federation East Asia regional delegation in China: Alistair Henley (head of regional delegation);; phone: +86.10.6532.7162, fax: +86.10.6532.7166.

Federation Secretariat in Geneva (Asia Pacific department): Ewa Eriksson (regional officer); email:; phone: +41.22.730.4252; fax: +41.22.733.0395; or Sandra Rosner (senior assistant); email:; phone: +41.22.730.4456; fax: +41.22.733.0395


(1) Source: USGS Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Centre