Help from S'pore for Yunnan quake survivors

Humanitarian aid groups in Singapore are lending a hand to victims of the earthquake that struck a remote area of China's Yunnan province recently.

The 6.1-magnitude quake on Aug 2 killed at least 615 people and injured over 2,400. A further 20,000 people have no access to sanitation, clean water and electricity.

Last Friday, Singaporean humanitarian organisation Mercy Relief deployed a response and assessment team. It has also launched a public fund-raising appeal.

Singapore Red Cross has pledged US$50,000 (S$62,600) in humanitarian aid. The money comes from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund. Its contribution will go towards buying and distributing supplies such as food, water, medicine and tents.

Secretary-general Benjamin William said: "While there are currently no plans to deploy Singaporean teams to the ground, we will continue to monitor the situation and evaluate if more help is required.The situation is slowly improving in the affected area including Longtoushan, the town at the epicentre of the earthquake, say relief workers.

While conditions are still dangerous and difficult, there has been progress, said Mr Sun Shuopeng, vice-president of the Chinese Red Cross Foundation and the field leader of the response team.

"We have teams providing clean water and setting up shelter and toilets for those displaced," he told The Straits Times over the phone.

Ms Liao Yili, a disaster management officer at the International Federation of Red Cross, said: "Most roads to Longtoushan have been cleared and supplies can come in, although some villages remain cut off."

This article was published on Aug 12 in The Straits Times.

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