Rotarians keep working on China earthquake relief
A clock in the rubble shows the time the earthquake hit Sichuan Province, China, on 12 May.
Intensive media coverage of the devastating earthquake in China has faded, but Rotarians continue working to help survivors pick up the pieces.
Several Rotarian-supported organizations, including ShelterBox and LifeBox, have sent aid, and Rotary clubs in China are mobilizing their resources.
ShelterBox containers, each with a tent, stove, water purification kit, blankets, and tools, have been distributed in the hard-hit areas of Pengzhou, Qinghuan, and Quhe in Sichuan Province. Teams were able to access some of these isolated mountain villages only after the Chinese army blasted through massive boulders that were blocking the road.
"While we distributed in Quhe village, we experienced several significant aftershocks every day," wrote ShelterBox team member Lasse Petersen, of the Rotary Club of Mounts Bay, Cornwall, England, in an e-mail. "To avoid the dangers of further collapsing buildings and landslides, the team camped in tents in open areas well clear of hazards."
He said aid recipients have been extremely grateful and have even taken pictures of team members. "It's amazing how welcomed we are," he added. "People cope so well in terrible circumstances." Petersen has also been part of the ShelterBox team distributing aid in Myanmar and flew from there to Beijing after the earthquake hit.
ShelterBox has received help from Rotary clubs in China, as well as Bill Chiang, a resident of Chengdu and an honorary member of the Rotary Club of San Francisco Golden Gate, California, USA. He has been coordinating Rotary-related relief efforts since the earthquake hit on 12 May and has assisted with the distribution of ShelterBox containers as well as 100 LifeBox containers in Pengzhou, each with tools, clothes, blankets, baby items, and a water purification tool called a LifeStraw.
The Rotary Club of Beijing mobilized quickly to provide aid to the devastated region. Club members raised US$8,600 to purchase baby formula and received $14,400 worth of additional baby supplies. The formula was sent to Aba, and diapers and wipes went to an orphanage in Chengdu.
The Rotary Club of Shanghai plans to donate $21,000 raised from its annual charity golf tournament to earthquake relief projects.
Read earthquake relief updates from Rotarians in China.