As China’s death toll from the recent catastrophic earthquake passes a horrific 51,000 mark with almost 30,000 persons still missing, the local community in Guyana has chipped in with cash donation of over $6 million.
According to China’s Ambassador to Guyana, Zhang Jungao, at a press conference Thursday, at the Mandela Avenue embassy, a large bulk of the money was contributed by the Chinese community in Guyana. “Several Guyanese friends, who asked not to be identified, have also reached out their hands and donated.”
According to Ambassador Jungao, so far 166 countries, including Guyana, and 30 international organizations, have expressed condolences and international aid has been pouring in.
China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs has received donations of over US$3 billion, the Ambassador said, stressing that while many lives have been lost, the Chinese people are not frightened and have demonstrated “enormous strength at this most difficult time.”
Guyana has a close working relationship with China and there are several tangible evidence, including the Convention Centre at Liliendaal and the building of the Skeldon Sugar Modernization Plant, the latter being the most notable.
The official stressed that Guyana’s financial assistance will not be affected by the earthquake which is the worst natural disaster to hit the country since it became the People’s Republic of China.
On May 12, a strong earthquake, measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale, shook Wenchuan County in southwest China’s Sichuan Province – it was felt all across China and in some parts of Southeast Asia.
The death toll from the earthquake in China’s Sichuan province has increased to more than 51,000, with another 30,000 people missing.
More than 160 aftershocks occurred in the Sichuan province since the major quake, with four of them measuring more than 6.0 to 6.9 on the Richter scale.
Officials have renewed an international appeal for 3.3 million tents for survivors of the quake. Three days of national mourning for the victims of the May 12 disaster have now come to an end.
According to the Ambassador, the total economic loss caused by the earthquake could reach 190 billion Chinese dollars (US$2.7 billion).
Major phone lines and roads are cut off. Millions of homes have been destroyed leaving residents, many of whom are still alive, with severe shortage of water, shelter, food and fuel. Thousands of people are still trapped under the rubble and rescuers are using their bare hands to search for survivors, according to reports out of China.
The rescue efforts are hampered by rains and road blocks due to fallen boulders and landslides. A middle school in Qingchuan County collapsed and many students have been reported dead while close to 1,000 more are still reported buried.
UNICEF has already rushed medical supplies, tents and clean water to children affected by the powerful earthquake in China. An estimated $5 million was required to cover up for the immediate needs in the aftermath of the quake.
Military aircraft were employed to drop in relief supplies and personnel by parachute. It was also reported that a number of villages and small towns have almost been completely destroyed. The Chinese government has mounted a massive effort to respond to the quake-trodden areas.
More than 100,000 rescue personnel are said to have been mobilized to aid in rescue efforts. In order to reach the worst affected areas, military troops have been forced to cover the final miles on foot and in very difficult terrain.
Additionally, the Government of China has formally requested assistance from the international community to help meet the needs of those affected. Both cash and relief supplies had also been requested but field assessment missions by outside organizations were not recommended due to the extreme difficulty in traveling to the worst affected areas.
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