16/5/08 2.10pm Sichuan Tragedy Update
On 12 May at 14:28hrs Beijing time, an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale struck Wenchuan County, Aba Prefecture in Sichuan Province in China.
It caused extensive damage and the surrounding townships continue to receive aftershocks thus forcing tens of thousands to spend the night outdoors.
Current media reports have placed the death toll at around 15,000 with over 25,000 people still buried under debris and rubble, and another 14,000 people still missing.
According to Xinhua News reports, an estimated total of 64,746 people were injured in Sichuan Province. Troops are reported to have reached the epicenter in Wenchuan County by parachute.
Other small teams are reported to be trickling into the worst hit area north of the provincial capital of Chengdu. In the town of Yingxiu, Wenchuan County, only 2,300 of its 10,000 residents have been accounted for.
Rescue efforts have been repeatedly disrupted since Monday due to heavy rains. The Meteorological Authority has forecasted more rain later in the week, which will potentially raise the risk of landslides.
10/9/08 – Sichuan Photo Gallery Opened
FTH Hong Kong Director, Armanda da Roza and the medical team from Hong Kong sent over 70 photos of the work in SiChuan.
FTH field reports
20/5/08 8.19pm – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update | SMS Update
“I am in Deyang with the medical team. I am trying to join them as they travel into a village where an outbreak of infectious disease has began spreading.
We are on high alert for more aftershocks.”
FTH HK Director
20/5/08 1.23am – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update | SMS Update
“I just ran out of the hospital. We’re expecting another aftershock. I think I will just sleep in the street tonight. All around me is the sign of more shakes coming. Pls pray.
FTH HK Director
19/5/08 11.45pm – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update | SMS Update
“The authorities are turning down our offer for our medical teams to help in the refugee camps. We will find other places to help.”
FTH HK Director
19/5/08 11.38pm – – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update
26 boxes of critical medicine were impounded by customs offices at the airport. Please pray that these are released immediately!
We visited Deyang, Mienyang and two other big cities and while the damage in these cities are not so extensive, a lot of people are still sleeping in the street for fear of any aftershocks.
There are many elderly here who were injured in the quake because they could not escape fast enough. The minor injury cases are being treated in the hospital grounds, and if possible being discharged quickly as more serious cases continue to stream in.
One hospital has its ground totally broken and its beds are everywhere, each patient has a terribly sad story to tell. Most lost relatives. Listening to their stories make me cry.
Food and water supply is sufficient for survivors. In these large cities the Government was able to clean up the loose rocks and stones quickly. But medicine and hygiene products are few and far between, almost none.
Unfortunately we can’t get them anywhere near Chengdu. All the dangerous places you see on news are not accessible by ordinary people except PLA (soldiers). We left two surgeons and two nurses in Deyang. They are now taking 5 doctors and 2 surgeons to a refugee camp now.
We all only had 3 hours sleep.
FTH HK Director
17/5/08 11.54pm – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update | Field update
The Christian Medical Mission is in the final stage of preparation, we got priority transport to go. The medical team is packing and bringing all and everything they think they need, and we assume we have nothing to work with, we are told to prepare ourselves for any kind of condition.
We are prepared by the team doctor to be physically strong, spiritually and emotionally strong and we are told to pray at all times. We are briefed on how to stay strong and cheerful ourselves.
The medical team are now being sent to Deyang City instead of Mienyang, the latest threat just received is that a dam is about to burst above Beichuan, most of the rescuers and residents are being evacuated from the low lying areas. Also one of the rivers was blocked due to landslide from both banks, causing a huge pool to accumulate and it is feared that the blockage would burst, once that happens, all the low lying ares will be flooded, this is not a good prospect – up to a million people are being evacuated. All disastrous areas face great lack of resources.
We may face another issue, as dead bodies begin to decompose with the unbearable smell in many villages. The dead bodies are so many, that no one knows what to do. The health conditions are below standard, the water contaminated, and food not easily available. Power is cut, and only some communication in some areas are possible for the moment.
Current figure of death stands at 28,881. The figures of people being buried is shockingly high – we must assume the missing have passed away by now.
I spoke with the Chengdu Pastor, and he explained that that the need for medical supplies, food, clean water is very desperate.
“We don’t even have one cotton ball, please come quickly”.
He said they still experience many aftershocks, and some times it could be very violent. Loose stones would fall – the condition is described as dangerous.
This team is of 24 people, 6 doctors, the others are nurses. Pastor Lau Chi Ming, myself and a FTH volunteer are the only non-medical personnel. We will give out materials to the needy together with local church members.
We are the first team, we plan to send 3-4 more Christian medical teams after us. So all our first experience in the medical area and food distribution is important. Many wait for us to return to share, so that more will know how to help.
A heart felt thanks to Churches who have given generously to help the survivors already. I would appreciate lots of prayers.
FTH HK Director
17/5/08 9.16am – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update | Field update
FTH is conducting a joint effort with the HK Christian Medical Team. Members have come from different churches and hospitals. We will team up with local Chengdu churches as our lead and guide.
At first we were planning to go to Meinyan County, using a tent as a clinic, but was told Deyan’s need is more urgent. The local Chengdu Pastor have worked out with the local government to add our medical team to work alongside with local doctors in a hospital on emergency cases and operations in Deyang County.
The Christian Medical team is made up of 24 people, 6 medical doctors and surgeons, we will fly out Sunday night 7 pm local time for one week, most of our luggage’s are medical supplies, we will buy food, clean water, blankets for distribution locally.
While the doctors are busy, FTH teamed together with local church members, will go out into the street and rural areas to distribute food, encourage, pray for the needy. We will also survey the situation to evaluate and report, to prepare the second, third and fourth medical team to go. We are also investigating how to help rebuild people’s lives later. The rebuilding will be joined by many HK churches together, crossing the barrier of denomination background and language.
All donation received will be used in this effort. Please remember us in prayers – last night still received reports on leftover shake, making rescue work very difficult.
Armanda Da Roza
FTH Hong Kong Director
16/5/08 4.56pm – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update
“Most of us have seen enough photos, read a lot of figures and heard many interviews to make us saddened, we may even weep for these people, they may have survived the earthquake but lost everything. Is 58:7 talks about diving your bread with the hungry, bring the homeless into the house, cover the naked. If you feel moved, this is an opportunity to do exactly what’s called for in this verse. If each of us rise up to do the very little we are able to, then “the very little” become a powerful giving to meet real needs, a demonstration of Christ’s love, let us shine for Jesus.
This is an unique opportunity to give directly into the hands of the needy, whether it is a medical need or a food need. Deyang County’s suffering people need your help. Will you give to help to ease the pain of the suffering? Will you pray for them? Asking God to intervene. Will you remember the lost? And pray for them to see the light.”
Armanda Da Roza
FTH Hong Kong Director
16/5/08 4.15am – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update
The medical team comprised of HK and Guangzhou church members and will arrive on Sunday now that the Government is allowing relief workers to fly into the area – especially medical workers.
The team will coordinate with a local Three-Cell (Government) church in Pak Yeung one of the hardest hit districts. This is a very real manifestation of the FTH mandate to be a church-to-church outreach.
FTH HK will bring approximately HK$50,000 worth of medical supplies and HK$150,000 for water and food and will buy some emergency shelter materials locally.
15/5/08 6.34pm – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update
A medical team of ten people is scheduled to travel to Chengdu via Shengzhen. FTH will obtain water, food, blankets and tents in Shengzhen, and then carry whatever resources we can use, as the team continue to fly into Chengdu.
The team will split into two. The first team compromised of doctors and nurses will set up emergency clinics in a church “building” or “a tent” to take care the wounded. The second team with other non-medical personnel, we give out food, water, blankets to visit and encourage.
15/5/08 1.38am – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update
Today more Chinese mainlanders are starting to donate to the crisis. It is not in their culture or education to give.
There is a compulsion to give but they don’t know how or where to do so, and they end up giving to their local regional government.
In HK, most people are giving. Several celebrities have given generously to help kick start the wider public, like Jackie Chan and Li Ka Shing.
14/5/08 9.06pm – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update
Our Sichuan church partner called asking us to help with water urgently. FTH HK sent an emergency fund transfer to buy water.
The Pastor also explained that many churches in his area collapsed, apparently his city was one of the worst hit.
14/5/08 2.03am – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update
The scope of this tragedy continue to unfurl – the latest death toll is now over 12,000 with 60,000 still missing.
Even today there are many aftershocks. People are afraid to sleep in their homes and are living in the streets. No water, no electricity, no light. The weather is very bad, it’s cold with constant rain.
Many of the roads are blocked, actually there doesn’t seem to be any clear roads in some areas. The situation is very bad. Airport in Chengdu is still closed, and there are no flights.
Too many students were buried alive when schools collapsed. Many buildings were flattened. People have fled their homes in rural villages and streaming to the capital city of Chengdu some 50km away. It appears Chengdu will become a focal center of relief distribution as a result.
The urgent needs so far are biscuits, bread, clean water, blankets, umbrellas, and tents.
One of our partner churches here in Hong Kong will bring a medical team on Friday. They will purchase supplies from nearby districts to distribute.
13/5/08 2.18pm – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update
FTH HK has successfully established contact with a partner church in Sichuan area. The church has targeted two areas to help.
Unfortunately the situation is much worse than the media are reporting. They are sending workers to these two areas to evaluate needs, logistic & relief management later today. I expect to be able to provide more accurate reports soon.
13/5/08 8.15am – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy Update
FTH HK office confirms that the affected area is quite wide. The most serious area is Beichuan where at least 7000 died, and over 10,000 wounded. We understand that over 80% of the buildings have collapsed… the city has been literally flattened.
All incoming flights to Chengdu (the capital of Sichuan) have been cancelled and they are not permitted to land. Although they are allowing some outgoing fights to take off. This will make it difficult for us to get there.
Telecommunication lines just opened. I will begin to contact churches in the affected area now. I hear terrible reports that a lot of schools have collapsed in the affected areas.
Just received (HK time 8:00 am) news released from Chinese officials – 9212 died total from following areas:
- Shenfan City stuck with a 7.8 earthquake causing a domino effect of destruction
- Dujiang Yan City – 60 died, 9 buried as a school collapsed.
- Deyang City – 5 schools collapsed.
- Gangsu – 48 died, 20,000 evacuated
- Shanxi – 61 died, 176 affected
- Yuennan – 1 died, 9 wounded
- other towns affected: ShenFang City, Wenchuan,Shanxi, Hubei.
The Chinese government are strongly motivated to help, whatever their motivation, we praise God for the infrastructure and man power they are bringing to this disaster.
The media are reporting that Taiwan and HK governments have already pledged to do everything they can to help.
13/5/08 – 3.24am – Sichuan Earthquake Tragedy
FTH is monitoring the news from China with concern and are anxious to know how we might respond to the earthquake in Sichuan province. Although we are mobilizing a major response for Myanmar Catastrophe we certainly want to respond in China to the best extent possible.
FTH HK will begin establishing communication with partner churches in the affected region and encouraging partnership with local HK churches for immediate disaster relief.