Social organizations rush to help quake-hit Luxian

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In the early hours of September 16, a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Luxian County, Sichuan Province, killing three people and leaving 100 injured. By 4 p.m., it was reported that 1,400 houses had collapsed and 6,400 were severely damaged, affecting more than 121,000 residents. Local and national social organizations quickly responded to the disaster and took part in rescue and relief efforts.

Within a few hours of the earthquake, a couple of social organizations, including China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), had already sent out rescue teams to determine the severity of the damage and the level of assistance required. Three teams organized by Panzhihua Public Aid Volunteer Association went door to door in Longqiao community, which had been at the epicenter of the quake, soon after the disaster happened. The local partner of the Amity Foundation focused on gathering information on the condition of local buildings and people’s needs in rural villages. The teams’ investigations revealed that many village dwellings had been severely damaged and some areas were without power. Villagers, made up mostly of senior citizens and children, were quickly moved to safe areas.

At 2 p.m., the first batch of emergency supplies including 800 raincoats and 50 tents were sent to Luxian County from Chengdu. At 7 a.m., One Foundation’s local rescue team at Wusheng Mountain (located to the east of Sichuan Basin) set out for Luxian County with a tow truck. On arrival, they partnered with three other Sichuan-based organizations to work on gathering additional supplies for local people. The China Red Cross Foundation and the China Merchants Charity Foundation also participated in arranging provisions for disaster-stricken areas. Tents, food, blankets, sleeping bags, foldaway beds and emergency kits for families were transported to Luxian and distributed to residents.

The private sector has also stepped in to help. Coca Cola collaborated with the One Foundation, transporting 48,000 bottles of water to the area. And dairy giant Yili Group partnered with the China Red Cross Foundation to donate its products to those impacted by the disaster. All donations had arrived in the county by the end of Sept 16.

Locally, according to a report by Chuanguan News, the Civil Affairs Department of Sichuan Province launched an emergency response plan for collaboration between social organizations immediately after the disaster took place. Working with the Emergency Response Department, it established a coordination mechanism which provided useful information about disaster-stricken areas and local needs and guided social organizations to carry out fundraising and disaster relief work. By 10 p.m. on September16, dozens of social organizations from both Sichuan Province and other parts of the country had managed to complete the filing of their public fundraising activities through the National Charity Information Disclosure Platform.

On-site rescue work was also organized and goods were distributed by local organizations such as the Sichuan Red Cross Foundation, Sichuan Emergency Volunteer Service Crops, the Sichuan Charity Federation, Sichuan Origin Charity Center and Chengdu Huiyu Public Welfare Development Center.