Salvation Army Responds To Sichuan Earthquake

Two women give offerings to the dead by the side of a damaged building in Longmen township near the epicenter of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the city of Ya’an, in China’s Sichuan province, on April 20, 2013. (Photo courtesy of TIME Magazine)

China, Sichuan Province (April 22, 2013) – The Salvation Army is responding after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit China’s Sichuan Province on Saturday, April 20th. Nearly 200 people are thought to have lost their lives, thousands injured and tens of thousands more left homeless following the devastating earthquake. Saturday’s quake occurred just five years after another earthquake rocked the Sichuan province, which caused the deaths of almost 70,000 people.

A Salvation Army team from its Sichuan Earthquake Reconstruction and Recovery Office headed towards the city of Ya-an – the epicentre of the quake – on Sunday to provide critical relief services, including food, water and spiritual care, to those impacted by the disaster. Ya-an was initially cut off because of roads being torn apart or blocked by mudslides, and many rural communities are still impossible to reach.

Additional Salvation Army staff on the ground in China contacted officials from the Lushan Township Earthquake Bureau and discovered that four townships – Longmen, Taiping, Shuangshi and Baosheng – were the worst hit areas. Most of the houses in the area are traditional small huts with green tile roofs. Reports indicate that very few buildings survived the earthquake, and those that did have been destroyed by aftershocks.

Currently, most of the survivors are taking shelter under self-made temporary tents, although many are living without any shelter at all. In addition, rainfall is making things worse – hindering the rescue work and worsening the living conditions of the survivors. There is urgent need across the region for tents, folding beds and food.

Residents walk among tents in a temporary settlement in Longmen township, a town close to the epicenter of the earthquake, April 21, 2013. (Courtesy of TIME Magazine)

Salvation Army relief personnel are on the ground working to provide relief to all of those affected by this terrible tragedy.  Having carried out initial assessments, Salvation Army teams are preparing to distribute food and folding beds, and will continue to aid those in need for as long as services are required.

To donate to Salvation Army relief efforts, go to