Note: This post was updated Sunday, April 21, to reflect new numbers of those affected.
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit China's Sichuan province on Saturday, killing nearly 200 people and injuring more than 14,000. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced and worries about increasing landslides rise as rain hampers the rescue effort.
Members of our China team headed to the epicenter within hours to assess emergency relief needs. Initial reports indicate that necessities like tents, water, food and medicine are in short supply. We'll work with local organizations and the government to support their relief efforts. Our local partner, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, has already sent in seven water trucks to the most damaged villages.
In hardest-hit Lushan county, entire villages were flattened, roads damaged, and electricity and water supplies cut off. The shallow depth of the earthquake likely increased the deadly damage.
We've been working in Sichuan since responding to the deadly 2008 quake that killed 70,000 in the same region. Our teams also responded to a 7.1 earthquake in neighboring Qinghai province in 2010.
As in those previous emergencies, today we're mobilizing to address survivors' urgent needs and will assess how we can help communities begin to recover and rebuild.
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