Earthquake in Hebei Province (China) - IFRC Situation Report no. 6

Situation Report
Originally published
Appeal no. 3/98 - period covered: June - August 1998
Reconstruction projects on hospitals, schools, roads and other infrastructure is nearing completion. Though work has begun on reconstruction of homes, completion is not expected before late September or early October when the cold weather begins.

The context

On 10 January, an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale struck Hebei Province, seriously affecting some 700 villages, primarily in the counties of Zhangbei and Wanquan in Zhangjiakou Prefecture. The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), supported by the Federation, provided immediate emergency assistance, which was completed in late January. ed Cross assistance for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of village dwellings and essential Red Cross structures began as soon as the weather permitted.

Latest events

Favourable weather conditions during the planting and harvest season resulted in an above-normal harvest in the earthquake-hit areas. No general food shortages are presently reported in the area. From 19 to 22 August, the Federation Representative, accompanied by the RCSC programme officer and local Red Cross officials, made an assessment trip to the earthquake zone in the counties of Wang Quan, Shag Yi, and Zhangbei. The assessment team visited the following medical facilities: Zhangbei Town Red Cross First Aid Centre, Tailigou Red Cross Community Hospital, and the Liang Jian Zhuang Red Cross Community Hospital. All these medical facilities have been reconstructed or repaired with ECHO-donated funds. The assessment team met with local authorities, village leaders and individual villagers in the Shang Yi County villages of Da Man Jing, Niu Jian Cun, and Kang Leng. All these villages are receiving Federation support for private housing rehabilitation.

Red Cross/Red Crescent action

The ECHO-funded repairs and reconstruction of two Red Cross Hospitals, one Emergency Centre and two First Aid Stations are expected to be completed by the end of September. Hospital equipment -- including three X-ray machines, three electrocardiographs, three ultra-sonographs and three binocular microscopes -- has been purchased and is being distributed to these health facilities as repairs and reconstruction work are finalised.

Since March, five temporary Red Cross outpost hospitals have served as emergency health centres for the population. Once the permanent health facilities have been reconstructed, these temporary posts will be used for storage and Disaster Preparedness.

Support for the reconstruction of private homes has started and will benefit 1,205 families (or 3,448 beneficiaries.) Each family receives bricks, cement, plaster and wood for frames to construct one room. Families of four or more receive enough materials to construct two rooms. Reconstruction is under way, and villagers are helping each other with the construction, but completion is not expected until late September or early October. In many cases, support for reconstruction from Red Cross, government and other donors covers less than half of the reconstruction costs, and families have had to obtain help from relatives, loans from banks or other means of support to finalise their homes.

In Zhangbei County, reconstruction of the Red Cross First Aid Centre in Zhangbei Town has been completed. This centre now serves some 46,000 people from the surrounding area, treating an average of 150 patients per day. At the Tailigou Red Cross Community Hospital, construction of new buildings has been finalised and the repair of old buildings is expected to be finalised in mid- September. The hospital is functioning, treating 80-90 patients per day.

In Wang Quan County, the Li Jia Zhuang Red Cross Community Hospital is still under construction and is scheduled to be finished in September. The temporary Red Cross outpost hospital, supplied in March, is still being used for medical treatment.

In addition, an ECHO-funded training course in Disaster Relief and Red Cross knowledge was implemented from 10 to 19 July for 350 Red Cross staff and volunteers from local counties, townships and villages.

External relations - Government/UN/NGOs/Media

Close contact and co-operation with local authorities has been maintained by the Red Cross Society of China throughout the relief operation and rehabilitation assistance.


See Annex 1 for details (go to: ).


Thanks to the rapid coverage of this Appeal by donors, the programme was fully funded. Through initiatives from the local population, with support from the Chinese government and the Red Cross, most health facilities, schools, roads and other infrastructure will be repaired or reconstructed before the cold weather begins in October.

Peter Rees-Gildea, Director, Operations, Funding & Reporting Department

Hiroshi Higashiura, Director, Asia & Pacific Department