Having sheltered upwards of 150,000 people since January of this year already
Lakewood Ranch, FL (Vocus) April 15, 2010
International disaster relief charity ShelterBox is responding to a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that has rocked Western China.
The earthquake struck the remote and mountainous Qinghai province near Tibet, one of China's poorest regions, killing at least 400 people and injuring 10,000.
A series of aftershocks collapsed houses, schools and offices in the ethnic Tibetan county of Yushu, leaving survivors without shelter in freezing conditions.
The charity will be working to assess the areas of greatest need and has already mobilized one of its China based ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members.
Lasse Petersen, ShelterBox General Manager, said: “The local officials are already saying the biggest problem they’re facing is lack of tents. The situation of several villages higher up in the mountains is still unknown, and roads and communications have been cut. Reports suggest there’s widespread destruction and we are liaising with our personnel in China to assess the need.”
The quake, which struck at 7:49 PM ET (0749 local time) on Tuesday, April 13, was centred 150 miles north of Qamdo in Tibet and 235 miles south of the mining town of Golmud in Qinghai, and had a depth of 6.2 miles according to the United States Geological Service.
ShelterBox previously responded to a magnitude 7.9 quake in May 2008 in neighbouring Sichuan province. At that time ShelterBox provided emergency shelter for and estimated 45,000 people after the earthquake devastated a huge area of South Western China and left millions homeless.
Veronica Brandon Miller, executive director of ShelterBox USA said that this marks the fifth earthquake and tenth disaster which ShelterBox has responded to this year.
“Having sheltered upwards of 150,000 people since January of this year already,” said Miller, “ShelterBox continues to respond quickly to ensure the survivors can have adequate shelter in the critical days after a disaster.”
Individual tax-deductible donations to ShelterBox USA can be made at http://www.shelterboxusa.org or via text message by sending SHELTER to 20222 for a one-time $10 donation
Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox (http://www.shelterboxusa.org) has provided shelter and dignity following over 100 disasters in more than 70 countries, bringing the organization to the forefront of international disaster relief. ShelterBox instantly responds to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid. In many cases ShelterBoxes have made the difference between life and death.
Each ShelterBox supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and lifesaving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. The contents are tailored depending on the nature and location of the disaster, with great care taken sourcing every item to ensure it is robust enough to be of lasting value. Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organizations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.