China - Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2003/0038
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
China - Earthquake
24 February 2003

This situation report is based on information provided by the Government of China through the UN Resident Coordinator in China as well as media reports.

Event and Impact

1. The strong earthquake, which struck the western part of Xinjiang region, China, at 10:03 hours, local time, on Monday 24 February 2003 (02:03 UTC, on 24 February), affected the counties/cities of Bachu, Jiashi, Yuepuhu, Yingjisha, Maigati, Shule, Shufu and Kashi. According to the Swiss Seismological Service, the magnitude is 6.4 on the Richter scale.

2. The epicenter is located in sparsely populated Jiashi County but most of the casualties are reported to be in nearby Bachu County. The Civil Affairs Bureau of Xinjiang reported that as of 09:00 hours (local time) today, 262 people were killed and 2,055 people injured. 10,000 housing units collapsed and 40,000 housing units were damaged.

3. The water supply and electricity in the disaster-stricken area is cut off. The communication system is still working. Roads are still accessible and the emergency materials can be brought in from outside smoothly. Although several aftershocks ranging from 4.2 to 5.0 on the Richter scale occurred, no further damage has been reported.

National Response

4. After the earthquake, the local government immediately enacted the emergency response plan for earthquake disasters. A team of 42 national experts reportedly arrived on the disaster site in Xinjiang on Monday evening. It is also reported that the national search and rescue team flew to the disaster area and arrived there early Tuesday morning.

5. To date, the Xinjiang autonomous region shipped 2,500 tents and 1,500 quilts to the affected areas. The Ministry of Civil Affairs also sent 6,000 cotton tents to the area for temporary shelter for the affected people.

6. The National Red Cross Society of China released approximately USD 30,000 from its own funds for relief and launched a country-wide appeal to help the victims of the earthquake.

International Response

7. The Greek Government announced that it was sending EUR 200,000 (USD 214,823) for earthquake aid.

8. OCHA has not received any request for international assistance.

9. OCHA is in close contact with the UN Resident Coodinator in China through its regional disaster response advisor and will prepare a next Situation Report on this disaster as soon as more information becomes available.

10. This situation report, together with information on other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 1234
Fax: +41-22-917 0023

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 2010

Desk Officers:
Mr. R. Mueller / Ms. S. Desouza / Mr. S. Nakajima
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 3131 / 1636 / 403440 34

Press contact:
(in GVA) - Ms.Madeleine Moulin-Acevedo, direct Tel. +41-22-917 3160
(in N.Y.) - Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-212-963 87 40


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