UNICEF Assists with Winter Clothing, School Tents After China's Earthquake
Adjust font size:
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Monday it is preparing to dispatch warm clothing, school tents and supplies to help youngsters affected by last week's earthquake in western China who are at particular risk from sub-zero temperatures in the area.
The 7.1-magnitude earthquake that struck remote Yushu prefecture in China's Qinghai province on April 14 killed over 1, 700 people, according to a news release issued by UNICEF, which added that some 256 people are still missing and 12,128 others are injured.
Some 6,870 people have been rescued from debris in the town of Jiegu, where 85 percent of the buildings have been destroyed, rendering 100,000 residents homeless. Some 6,870 people have been rescued from debris in the town of Jiegu, where 85 percent of the buildings have been destroyed.
UNICEF is especially worried about the immediate danger to children from cold weather, as many residents of Jiegu, located on the 4,000-metre high Tibetan plateau, sleep in the open in sub- zero temperatures.
"This earthquake hit one of China's very poor and remote communities," said Yin Yin Nwe, UNICEF Representative and Chair of the UN Disaster Management Team. "We are concerned about the impact on children and their families."
The agency, at the request of relevant authorities, will dispatch 5,000 sets of warm children's clothing, 150 school tents and 2,000 blankets. It is also preparing to supply 2,000 children' s winter boots, 5,000 student kits and shoulder bags, 500 blackboards, ambulances, generators and medical equipment.
Local authorities estimate that 80 percent of primary schools and 50 percent of secondary schools in Yushu have been severely damaged. The casualties include 103 children and 12 teachers, with another 684 injured.
Local health authorities in Qinghai province have also said there is an urgent need for medical supplies and childbirth equipment, as the maternal and child health hospital in Yushu collapsed in the quake.
(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2010)