Members of local church responding to Sichuan Earthquake. Credit: CCC
In the morning of April 20, local time, an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 hit central China, Sichuan Province. Along with its thousands of aftershocks, the earthquake has caused heavy damage in the affected areas. The death toll has risen above 200, with more than 11,800 people injured. There have been over 2,000 aftershocks, leading to continued damage to structures like homes.
The ELCA has been in communication with our partner in the region, the China Christian Council, and has committed $15,000 to the relief effort. The immediate response has involved the delivery of food, tents, quilts and medicine. Future plans are to organize the distribution of relief materials, medical services and psychological care.
One of those churches involved in the response is one of the ELCA’s companion in the region, Luzhou Church. This church has built up a response team through past ELCA assistance and was able to send immediate response teams of pastoral staff, hospital personnel and teams with rescue dogs. This is a great example of why we continue to engage in disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts with our companions around the globe. The ability to respond quickly, efficiently and fully can make the difference in how wide the damages of disaster affect a community.
Let us hold those affected and those responding on their behalf in prayer. May we also give thanks for the ability of churches like Luzhou Church to engage in disaster preparedness activities and their ability to quickly respond to the needs of their neighbors.
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