China - Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 3

Ref. OCHA/GVA - 2003/0039
OCHA Situation Report No. 3
China - Earthquake
4 March 2003

The Chinese Government welcomes assistance from the international community

This situation report is based on information provided by the UN Resident Coordinator and the UN Disaster Management Team in China.

Impact and Needs

1. The updated figures of casualties and damage caused by the strong earthquake that struck the western part of Xinjiang region are as follows:

  • 268 dead
  • more than 4,000 injured, 2,058 of them seriously - 800 still hospitalized
  • 510,000 people affected, out of whom 100,000 seriously
  • 3,000 people without housing
  • 70,000 housing units collapsed
  • 103 schools, 900 class rooms collapsed

The search and rescue operation by the Government had been almost completed by 26 February. The immediate needs of the affected population, i.e. food, clothing, drinking water and temporary shelter have been almost met. The government has provided 450 tons of wheat flour, 352 tons of instant food, 120,000 bottles of mineral water as well as water tanks, 46,000 articles of clothing and blankets. The government has also sent tents to the area for temporary shelter: 10,000 tents arrived on 2 March and 7,000 on 3 March.

3. The main remaining problem is the reconstruction of houses, clinics and schools, which will continue until June/July 2003. The local government has a rehabilitation plan but is short of funding. Transportation is in general unaffected. The impact of the disaster on agricultural production is estimated to be insignificant due to the winter season.

4. According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), local health clinics have requested medical supplies in the affected area. More food assistance will be needed because many families lost their food reserves. The absence of safe drinking water sources may increase the risk of water related diseases. Snowfall and low temperatures in the last two days have made the situation more difficult for people without adequate shelter.

5. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), although most people in Jiashi County were well prepared for earthquakes, big tents are needed for school.

National Response

6. The central government has allocated CNY 11 million (USD 1,330,752), the government of the Xinjiang Autonomous region CNY 5.5 million (USD 665,376). Local governments have mobilized about CNY 20 million (USD 2,419,550) for the relief operations.

7. The National Red Cross acted immediately and provided 2,000 quilts, 1,000 coats and 10 tons of wheat flour to the victims. It has launched a national appeal, and has already received about CNY 7 million (USD 846,842) of which 3 million (USD 362,932) in cash and the rest in kind (e.g. medicines from pharmaceutical companies).

International Response

8. The Chinese Government welcomes assistance from the international community.

9. The Government of Japan has provided aid of about JPY 30 million (USD 254,237), consisting of an emergency grant of USD 150,000 dollars and an in-kind contribution of 40 tents, 1,200 blankets, 3 portable water tanks, 5 electricity generators and 5 reels of electric cord.

10. The US Embassy has donated USD 100,000 to the Red Cross.

11. A meeting of the UN Disaster Management Team was convened in Beijing on 3 March with the participation of UN and international organizations, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs, major donors and international NGOs. In the meeting, participants exchanged information and reviewed the needs and operations for disaster relief.

12. UNICEF has sent an assessment team to the affected area. In addition, the Hong Kong UNICEF Committee has donated HK$ 2 million (USD 256,739).

13. OCHA is providing an Emergency Grant of USD 50,000 drawn from its own resources as well as from funds pre-positioned by the Government of Norway, to assist the affected people.

14. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. For banking details please contact the Desk Officers indicated below. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, as indicated below, on relief missions/pledges/contributions and their corresponding values by item.

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

Telephone:+41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Ms. M. Spaak/ Ms. S. deSouza / Mr. S. Nakajima
Direct Tel.+41-22-917 17 28/ 16 36 / 40 34

Press contact:
(in GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(in N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-212-963 87 40


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