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UNICEF China – Situation Report 3: Yunnan Earthquake

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The final death toll in the region is 617. Among the reported deaths, 526 were in Ludian County and 78 in Qiaojia County. The quake also caused one death in Zhaotong City and another 12 in Huize County. In addition to the deaths, 112 people are still missing and 3,143 were injured. Additionally, more than 80,000 houses collapsed, 129,100 houses were seriously damaged and 466,100 houses were moderately damaged.

According to the Yunnan Civil Affairs Department, the province has accepted more than 797 million yuan of monetary donations (about USD 130 million) and supplies worth over 113 million yuan to date.
With 1.09 million people affected, the Chinese Government calculated the value of the economic losses to total 61 billion yuan (almost USD 10 billion). The Government of China has reportedly invested 70 billion yuan (more than USD 11 billion) in reconstruction efforts.

Highlights

A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck Yunnan Province in southwest China at 4:30 p.m. on 3 August 2014. With a depth of 12 km, the epicenter was initially determined to be 27.1 degree north latitude and 103.3 degree east longitude, which was located 40 miles away from the center of Longtoushan Township.

Ludian County, the epicenter of the earthquake, is one of the nationally designated poverty counties, where many families and their children are vulnerable. Ludian’s per capita GDP is only one third that of Yunnan province and much lower than national average. The average annual income per capita is less than 2,300 RMB (approximately 1 USD per day per capita). There are 150,000 people living below the national poverty line, accounting for the 34.88 percentage of the total population.

The Government of China immediately launched a Level-III secondary disaster emergency response plan, sending a coordination team and enlisting the support of the People’s Armed Police to work on disaster relief, water facilities investigation, recovery and reconstruction, and public information.
In mid-August, post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction work began. According to the Yunnan Civil Affairs Department, 231 schools have been repaired and rebuilt in Ludian County with no delays to the start of the new school semester in September1 . Over 50 new water purification units have been installed in affected areas where water quality has significantly deteriorated2. Moreover, the construction of first group of steel-framed houses that are more suitable for earthquake-prone areas will be completed by the end of September 2014